The camel spider belongs to the order Solifugae (meaning ‘those who flee from the sun’), which includes about 900 species. Contrary to popular belief, this creature is known as the camel spider not because it eats the stomach of camels but because it lives in the desert. It is also known as the wind scorpion and the sun spider.
Though it is an arachnid, it is not exactly a spider. The camel spider inhabits warm and dry areas. It is carnivorous and feeds on termites, beetles and other small arthropods. It has long pedipalps, which look like two extra legs but are used as antennae much like insects. The pedipalps help to locate prey and the two large pincers or chelicerae (teeth), catch and chop the prey into bite-sized pieces.
The camel spider is primarily nocturnal. Like other members of the order Solifugae, it can run quite fast, at a speed of 10-16 km per hour. It is not poisonous and doesn’t attack humans unless threatened.