Arachnids derive their scientific name from the greek myth of the maiden Arachne, who challanged the goddess Athena to a weaving contest. Arachne won, and in a fit of rage Athena destroyed all of Arachne's work. Heartbroken, Arachne hung herself. Regretting her actions, Athena took pity on Arachne, removed the rope from around her neck and turned her into a spider so that she could spend eternity continuing to weave delicately beautiful creations.
All adult members of the Arachnida have 4 pairs of legs, a feature which easily differentiates them from insects. They also, however, possess a further 2 pairs of appendages (the chelicerae and pedipalps) which in some species may be confused as being further pairs of legs. These have multiple functions which include use in defense, feeding and reproduction. Most arachnids are carnivorous.
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