The arachnids are the animals arthropods that make up the class Arachnida. These are species that have cephalothorax (the head attached to the thorax), four buccal appendages and eight legs. These living things, on the other hand, lack compound eyes and antennae.
The spiders, the scorpions and ticks are arachnids. Even the tiny mites are part of this group. The anatomy of these animals shows that the body of an arachnid is divided into two tagmas: the mentioned cephalothorax and the abdomen. The legs, meanwhile, are organized into four pairs. It should be noted that the arthropod classification refers to the presence of articulated appendages and an external skeleton.
Arachnids resort to air respiration, with tracheas, filotracheas or both organs simultaneously. Regarding circulation, they have two hearts that are placed in a kind of tube.
Although there are differences between species, arachnids generally resort to a carnivorous diet. Once they catch the prey, they cover it with digestive juices and then take it to a pre-oral chamber before reaching the mouth. A part of the digestive process, in this way, takes place outside the body.
Regarding reproduction, arachnids usually do it through eggs (that is, they are oviparous), although certain species are ovoviviparous (eggs develop inside the body). Animals in this class are unisexual: males transmit their sperm indirectly to the female.
The mythology of arachnids
Human beings can develop ties with any species, although it is normal for us to limit ourselves to other warm-blooded mammals, perhaps because it is easier for us to see ourselves reflected in them and understand their behaviors. Regarding insects, only a minority of people can approach them without fear or disgust; Of course, arachnids do not belong to this group but, as mentioned above, to that of arthropods, although no clear distinction is made in everyday speech.
Arachnids occupy a very important place in the culture of the human being, since it is part of an endless number of artistic works and myths of different kinds. Cultural arachnology is in charge of studying these manifestations (we should not confuse it with the academic one).
The scorpion is one of the arachnids most feared by our species, but it has also led to the creation of various symbols thanks to its peculiar physical appearance. In fact, this is a very common element in most ancient beliefs, and the main reasons are as follows:
* on the one hand, the danger that the toxicity of its poison represents for us (many centuries ago, the absence of modern techniques of medicine and scientific knowledge greatly enhanced it);
* The ecological preferences of this arachnid, which usually revolve around deserts and steppes, make it an impossible presence to ignore in the most inhospitable places on the planet, those where humans have fewer tools to defend themselves and survive an attack.
On the other hand is the spider, the arthropod with the greatest presence in primitive mythology; It is an animal that has appeared in cultures around the world for more than five millennia, and whose image has been used to represent both divine and evil beings. This arachnid is found in symbols of creation and fertility, as well as images of war and destruction, an ambivalence that can be seen in ancient beliefs. Both species continue to enjoy popularity in contemporary works, both in books and drawings, films and video games, among other art forms.