Insects, arachnids, and gastropod molluscs


Tiny animals are amazing. Their whole bodies can be thousands of times smaller than our brains, yet they can move, breathe, reproduce and hunt or forage successfully and have done for millions of years. On this small scale animals work in unfamiliar ways. Many animals have exoskeletons made of chitin, and move their limbs through processes which are much more similar to hydraulic excavators than our paired muscle systems.

Our tiny friends are immensely strong and fast. Arthropods are an incredibly diverse set of animals, and they they share their tiny world many other fascinating creatures.

I recently read a very readable book called animal eyes by Dan-Eric Nilsson and Michael Land, it goes into a satisfying level of detail in how the eyes of sea creatures, arthropods, mammals, birds and historical creatures function and how that function effects how they interact with their worlds. As someone who is very interesting in optics and cameras, it is very interesting to learn more about who to design optics by random mutation, although perhaps Pentax and Nikon should stick to paying engineers.