Taxonomy [Pantopoda] [Phylum: Arthropoda] [Class: Pycnogonida] [Family: Chelicerata]
There are reportedly more than 1,000 species of sea spiders which are in fact 'spider-like' sea-dwelling animals found in all the world's oceans including the Arctic and Antarctic.
They are mostly small bodied marine Arthropods with large leg spans ranging in size from a few millimeters up to 90 cm for some deep water Antarctic species.
The head of the sea spider has a snout and several simple eye structures.
The snout develops into a food sucking mouth. They feed on the body liquids of marine animals such as sea squirts, sea anemones, and sponges.
The sea spider abdomen is usually thin and narrow supporting four pairs of spindly legs.
They usually have a few extra pairs of legs attached to their head.
The chelicerae pair are used for grabbing food whereas the other sensory and reproductive appendages are often used for egg-carrying.
Female sea spiders deposit masses of minute eggs on to the male leg appendages.
The male sea spider carries them attached to his legs until the eggs hatch.
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