Anatomically, spiders differ from other arthropods in that the usual body segments are fused into two tagmata, the cephalothorax and abdomen, and joined by a small, cylindrical pedicel. Unlike insects, spiders do not have antennae. In all except the most primitive group, the Mesothelae, spiders have the most centralized nervous systems of all arthropods, as all their ganglia are fused into one mass in the cephalothorax. Unlike most arthropods, spiders have no extensor muscles in their limbs and instead extend them by hydraulic pressure.
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Spiders are air-breathing arthropods that have eight legs andcheliceraewith fangs that inject venom. They are the largest order of arachnids and rank seventh in total species diversity among all other groups of organisms. Spiders are found worldwide on every continent except forAntarctica, and have become established in nearly everyhabitatwith the exception of air and sea colonization. As of 2008, at least 43,678 spiderspecies,and 109 families have been recorded bytaxonomists;however, there has been confusion within the scientific communityas to how all these families should be classified, as evidenced by the over 20 different classifications that have been proposed since 1900.
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