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Sea Spider

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Sea spiders (pycnogonids) are related to land spiders and are in the Phylum Arthropoda. However, they don't spin webs, and many live in the deep sea.
Sea Spider / NOAA-SCDNR

A sea spider on the Charleston Bump, which is southeast of Charleston, South Carolina.

NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration; Dr. George Sedberry, South Carolina DNR, Principal Investigator
There are about 1,000 species of sea spiders. They are found all over the world. Sea spider species have a wide range in size, from a few millimeters to legspans of almost 3 feet. They have a small body, and long legs with claws. They have 4-6 pairs of legs. They feed on other invertebrates. They feed using their proboscis, a long organ with a mouth at the end that is used to suck food into the spider's gut.

Because they have such a small body, the sea spider's digestive and reproductive organs are located in its legs.

Sources:

  • Arango, C. 2009. Sea Spiders (Online> Australasian Arachnological Society. Accessed October 26, 2009.
  • UCMP Berkeley. Introduction To the Pcynogonida (Online). University of California Museum of Paleontology. Accessed October 26, 2009.
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