Arachnology

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Definition

noun

A biological discipline that studies arachnids


Supplement

Arachnology is a biological discipline that deals with arachnids. It is one of the sub-fields of arthropodology. The latter is the biological science that studies arthropods. Arthropods are invertebrates (of the phylum Arthropoda) that are characterized mainly by possessing a hard chitinous exoskeleton and multiple paired jointed limbs. Since arthropodology involves the largest phylum of the animal kingdom it is further subdivided into these biological disciplines: arachnology, entomology (the study of insects), carcinology (the study of crustaceans), and myriapodology (the study of myriapods).

Arachnology is concerned primarily with the study of the development, taxonomy, biology, evolution, and ecology of arachnids. Arachnids include the spiders, scorpions, pseudoscorpions, and harvestmen. Thus, arachnology may also be divided into more specific specialties, such as araneology (study of spiders), acarology (study of ticks and mites), and scorpiology (study of scorpions).

An expert in this field is called arachnologist. The arachnologist would be the one responsible for classifying arachnids, understanding their biology, determining their evolutionary relationships, studying their interaction with other living things and their environment, and determining as well as monitoring their distribution.


Word origin: Greek arachnē ("spider") and -logia ("study of")

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