Russell-Hunter, W. D. Department of Biology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York.
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A class (or subphylum in some classifications) of the phylum Arthropoda. Members of the Chelicerata can be defined as those arthropods with the anteriormost appendages as a pair of small pincers (chelicerae) followed usually by pedipalps and four pairs of walking legs, and with the body divided into two parts: the prosoma (corresponding approximately to the cephalothorax of many crustaceans) and the opisthosoma (or abdomen). There are never antennae or mandibles (lateral jaws). Three taxa are included in the Chelicerata: the enormous group Arachnida (spiders, ticks, mites, scorpions, and related forms); the Pycnogonida (sea spiders or nobody-crabs); and the Merostomata (including the extant Xiphosurida or horseshoe crabs). See also: Arachnida; Arthropoda; Merostomata; Pycnogonida; Xiphosurida
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