One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Each of the second pair of appendages attached to the cephalothorax of most arachnids. They are variously specialized as pincers in scorpions, sensory organs in spiders, and locomotory organs in horseshoe crabs.
antenna, tentacle, hornView synonyms
- ‘The first pair of legs or pedipalpi are held up in front of them and used in a similar manner to the antennae of insects.’
- ‘Besides their unusually long and dangerous tails, scorpions also differ from other arachnids in having large pedipalps.’
- ‘The thick, hairy appearance of the spider's pedipalps - its frontmost appendages - indicated it was a male.’
- ‘During copulation, males move their copulatory organs, the pedipalps, in a rhythmic, twisting manner.’
- ‘The second pair of appendages, the pedipalps, resemble walking legs.’
Early 19th century: from modern Latin pedipalpi (plural), from Latin pes, ped- ‘foot’ + palpus ‘palp’.
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