Pycnogonida – Sea spiders
Undergo molting to grow and reproduce
They are renowned for their extraordinarily long and thin legs, giving them a fragile and ethereal appearance. Despite their name, they are not true spiders and lack the venomous fangs associated with terrestrial arachnids. Sea spiders inhabit diverse marine environments, from shallow coastal waters to the deepest abysses. Their adaptability allows them to thrive in various temperature conditions and ocean depths.
These marine arthropods are predominantly filter feeders, preying on small invertebrates such as hydroids, soft corals, and sea anemones. Their long proboscis enables them to extract nutrients from their prey. Unlike most arthropods, sea spiders lack specialized respiratory organs such as gills or book lungs. Instead, they rely on gas exchange through their cuticle, which allows them to absorb oxygen directly from the surrounding water.