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The phylum Arthropoda is typically divided into four subphyla that extant forms: Chelicerata (arachnids), Crustacea (crustaceans), Hexapoda (insects and also springtails), and also Myriapoda (millipedes and also centipedes). Part zoologists think that arthropods possessing only single-branched appendages, specifically the insects, centipedes, and millipedes, progressed from a separate ancestor and therefore group them within a separate phylum—the Uniramia, or Atelocerata; however, in this treatment these forms are dispersed among several subphyla. In addition, the phylum Arthropoda includes the die out subphylum Trilobitomorpha. This group is consisted of of the trilobites, the dominant arthropods in the early Paleozoic seas (541.0 million to 251.9 million year ago). Trilobites ended up being extinct throughout the Permian period (298.9 million to 251.9 million years ago) at the end of the Paleozoic Era.

The myriapods (centipedes, symphylans, millipedes, and also pauropods) live in ~ stones and also logs and in leaf mold; insects are discovered in all types of terrestrial habitats and also some have invaded fresh water. The sea has remained the domain that the crustaceans, however, and only at its really edges room insects (subphylum Hexapoda) found.

A southern African millipede.

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The subphylum Crustacea consists of mostly naval arthropods, though numerous of that is members, such as the crayfish, have invaded new water, and also one group, the pill bugs (sow bugs), has become terrestrial, living beneath stones and logs and in sheet mold. In the sea, huge crustaceans such as crabs and shrimps are common bottom-dwelling arthropods. Numerous minute species of crustaceans (particularly the copepods) are vital component the the zooplankton (floating or weakly swim animals) and serve together food for other invertebrates, fishes, and also even whales.