Marvel Comics is the brand name and primary imprint of Marvel Worldwide Inc. Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, a publisher of American comic books and related media. In 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Worldwide's parent company. Marvel started in 1939 the common name in the Golden Age was Timely Comics, by the early 1950s, had become known as Atlas Comics; the Marvel era began in 1961, the year that the company launched The Fantastic Four and other superhero titles created by Steve Ditko, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and many others. The Marvel brand had been used over the years, but solidified as the company's only brand with in a couple of years. Marvel counts among its characters such well-known superheroes as Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk, Spider-Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, the Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider, the Punisher and Deadpool, such teams as the Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, the Midnight Sons, the Defenders, the Guardians of the Galaxy, supervillains including Galactus, Doctor Doom, Ultron, Green Goblin, Red Skull, Doctor Octopus and Venom.
Most of Marvel's fictional characters operate in a single reality known as the Marvel Universe, with most locations mirroring real-life places. Pulp-magazine publisher Martin Goodman founded the company known as Marvel Comics under the name Timely Publications in 1939. Goodman, who had started with a Western pulp in 1933, was expanding into the emerging—and by already popular—new medium of comic books. Launching his new line from his existing company's offices at 330 West 42nd Street, New York City, he held the titles of editor, managing editor, business manager, with Abraham Goodman listed as publisher. Timely's first publication, Marvel Comics #1, included the first appearance of Carl Burgos' android superhero the Human Torch, the first appearances of Bill Everett's anti-hero Namor the Sub-Mariner, among other features; the issue was a great success. While its contents came from an outside packager, Inc. Timely had its own staff in place by the following year; the company's first true editor, writer-artist Joe Simon, teamed with artist Jack Kirby to create one of the first patriotically themed superheroes, Captain America, in Captain America Comics #1.
It, proved a hit, with sales of nearly one million. Goodman formed Timely Comics, Inc. beginning with comics cover-dated April 1941 or Spring 1941. While no other Timely character would achieve the success of these three characters, some notable heroes—many of which continue to appear in modern-day retcon appearances and flashbacks—include the Whizzer, Miss America, the Destroyer, the original Vision, the Angel. Timely published one of humor cartoonist Basil Wolverton's best-known features, "Powerhouse Pepper", as well as a line of children's funny-animal comics featuring characters like Super Rabbit and the duo Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal. Goodman hired his wife's cousin, Stanley Lieber, as a general office assistant in 1939; when editor Simon left the company in late 1941, Goodman made Lieber—by writing pseudonymously as "Stan Lee"—interim editor of the comics line, a position Lee kept for decades except for three years during his military service in World War II. Lee wrote extensively for Timely.
Goodman's business strategy involved having his various magazines and comic books published by a number of corporations all operating out of the same office and with the same staff. One of these shell companies through which Timely Comics was published was named Marvel Comics by at least Marvel Mystery Comics #55; as well, some comics' covers, such as All Surprise Comics #12, were labeled "A Marvel Magazine" many years before Goodman would formally adopt the name in 1961. The post-war American comic market saw superheroes falling out of fashion. Goodman's comic book line dropped them for the most part and expanded into a wider variety of genres than Timely had published, featuring horror, humor, funny animal, men's adventure-drama, giant monster and war comics, adding jungle books, romance titles and medieval adventure, Bible stories and sports. Goodman began using the globe logo of the Atlas News Company, the newsstand-distribution company he owned, on comics cover-dated November 1951 though another company, Kable News, continued to distribute his comics through the August 1952 issues.
This globe branding united a line put out by the same publisher and freelancers through 59 shell companies, from Animirth Comics to Zenith Publications. Atlas, rather than innovate, took a proven route of following popular trends in television and movies—Westerns and war dramas prevailing for a time, drive-in movie monsters another time—and other comic books the EC horror line. Atlas published a plethora of children's and teen humor titles, including Dan DeCarlo's Homer the Happy Ghost and Homer Hooper. Atlas unsuccessfully attempted to revive superheroes from late 1953 to mid-1954, with the Human Torch, the Sub-Mariner, Captain America. Atlas did not achieve any breakout hits and, according to Stan Lee, Atlas survived chiefly because it produced work cheaply, at a passable quality; the first modern comic books under the Marvel Comics brand w
Las Hilanderas (Velázquez)
Las Hilanderas is a painting by the Spanish painter Diego Velázquez, housed in the Museo del Prado of Madrid, Spain. It is known by the title The Fable of Arachne, it is regarded as a late work by the artist, dating from around 1657. Traditionally, it was believed that the painting depicted women workers in the tapestry workshop of Santa Isabel. In 1948, Diego Angula observed that the iconography suggested Ovid's Fable of Arachne, the story of the mortal Arachne who dared to challenge the goddess Athena to a weaving competition and, on winning the contest, was turned into a spider by the jealous goddess; this is now accepted as the correct interpretation of the painting. It was painted for Don Pedro de Arce, huntsman to King Philip IV, it entered the royal collection in the eighteenth century, was damaged by the fire at the Royal Alcazar of Madrid in 1734. New sections were added over 50 cm to the top of the canvas; the painting remains at the extended size but is displayed behind a screen with a frame added over a cut-away section revealing only the original dimensions.
Stylistic elements, such as the lightness, the economical use of paint, the clear influence of the Italian Baroque, have led many scholars to assert that it was painted in 1657. Others place it earlier, at some time between 1644–50 because certain aspects of its form and content recall the bodegones Velázquez painted in his early career. In Las Hilanderas'ROCIO', Velázquez developed a layered composition, an approach he had used in his earlier bodegones, such as the Kitchen Scene with Christ in the House of Martha and Mary. In the foreground is the contest; the goddess Athena, disguised as an old woman, is on the left and Arachne, in a white top facing away from the viewer, is on the right. Three helpers assist them. In the background, a raised platform displays the finished tapestries; the one visible to us is Arachne's, showing The Rape of Europa — another Greek myth. This is in fact a copy of Titian's painting of the subject, in the Spanish royal collection; the painting has been interpreted as an allegory of the arts and as a commentary on the range of creative endeavor, with the fine arts represented by the goddess and the crafts represented by Arachne.
Others think that Velázquez' message was that to create great works of art, both great creativity and hard technical work are required. Other scholars have read political allegories into the work and interpreted it through popular culture. Romano, Eileen. Art Classics: Velázquez. ISBN 0-8478-2812-3. Bird, Wendy. "The Bobbin and the Distaff", Apollo, 2007-11-01 "Enslaved sovereign": aesthetics of power in Foucault and Ovid. Article by Sira Dambe, Journal of Literary Studies, December 1, 2006 Spanish Culture Official Website in English Velázquez, exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (fully available online
In Greek mythology, son of Chrysaor and Callirrhoe, the grandson of Medusa and the nephew of Pegasus, was a fearsome giant who dwelt on the island Erytheia of the mythic Hesperides in the far west of the Mediterranean. A more literal-minded generation of Greeks associated the region with Tartessos in southern Iberia. Geryon was described as a monster with human faces. According to Hesiod Geryon had one body and three heads, whereas the tradition followed by Aeschylus gave him three bodies. A lost description by Stesichoros said that he is winged; some accounts state that he had six legs as well while others state that the three bodies were joined to one pair of legs. Apart from these bizarre features, his appearance was that of a warrior, he owned a two-headed hound named Orthrus, the brother of Cerberus, a herd of magnificent red cattle that were guarded by Orthrus, a herder Eurytion, son of Erytheia. In the fullest account in the Bibliotheke of Pseudo-Apollodorus, Heracles was required to travel to Erytheia, in order to obtain the Cattle of Geryon as his tenth labour.
On the way there, he crossed the Libyan desert and became so frustrated at the heat that he shot an arrow at Helios, the Sun. Helios "in admiration of his courage" gave Heracles the golden chariot he used to sail across the sea from west to east each night. Heracles used it to reach a favorite motif of the vase-painters; such a magical conveyance undercuts any literal geography for Erytheia, the "red island" of the sunset. When Heracles reached Erytheia, no sooner had he landed than he was confronted by the two-headed dog, Orthrus. With one huge blow from his olive-wood club, Heracles killed the watchdog. Eurytion the herdsman came to assist Orthrus. On hearing the commotion, Geryon sprang into action, carrying three shields, three spears, wearing three helmets, he pursued Heracles at the River Anthemus but fell victim to an arrow, dipped in the venomous blood of the Lernaean Hydra, shot so forcefully by Heracles that it pierced Geryon's forehead, "and Geryon bent his neck over to one side, like a poppy that spoils its delicate shapes, shedding its petals all at once".
Heracles had to herd the cattle back to Eurystheus. In Roman versions of the narrative, on the Aventine Hill in Italy, Cacus stole some of the cattle as Heracles slept, making the cattle walk backwards so that they left no trail, a repetition of the trick of the young Hermes. According to some versions, Heracles drove his remaining cattle past a cave, where Cacus had hidden the stolen animals, they began calling out to each other. In others, Cacus' sister, told Heracles where he was. Heracles killed Cacus, according to the Romans, founded an altar where the Forum Boarium, the cattle market, was held. To annoy Heracles, Hera sent a gadfly to irritate them and scatter them; the hero was within a year able to retrieve them. Hera sent a flood which raised the level of a river so much, Heracles could not cross with the cattle, he piled stones into the river to make the water shallower. When he reached the court of Eurystheus, the cattle were sacrificed to Hera. In the Aeneid, Vergil may have based the triple-souled figure of Erulus, king of Praeneste, on Geryon and Hercules' conquest of Geryon is mentioned in Book VIII.
The Herculean Sarcophagus of Genzano features. The poet Stesichorus wrote a song of Geryon in the sixth century BC, the source of this section in Bibliotheke. From the fragmentary papyri found at Oxyrhyncus it is possible that Stesichorus inserted a character, who reported the theft of the cattle to Geryon. Geryon had an interview with his mother Callirrhoe, who begged him not to confront Heracles, they appear to have expressed some doubt as to. The gods met in council, where Athena warned Poseidon that she would protect Heracles against Poseidon's grandson Geryon. Denys Page observes that the increase in representation of the Geryon episode in vase-paintings increased from the mid-sixth century and suggests that Stesichorus' Geryoneïs provided the impetus; the fragments are sufficient to show that the poem was composed in twenty-six line triads, of strophe and epode, repeated in columns along the original scroll, facts that aided Page in placing many of the fragments, sometimes of no more than a word, in what he believed to be their proper positions.
In his work Description of Greece, Pausanias mentions that Geryon had a daughter, who had a son with Hermes, the founder of the city of Nora in Sardinia. The Geryon of Dante's 14th century epic poem. Here, Geryon has become the Monster of Fraud, a beast with enormous dragon-like wings with the paws of a lion, the body of a wyvern, a scorpion's poisonous sting at the tip of his tail, but with the face of an "honest man", he dwells somewhere in the shadowed depths below the cliff between the seventh and eighth circles of Hell. They board him, Geryon glides in descending circles around the waterfall of the river Phlegethon down to the great depths to the Circle of Fraud; the Cádiz Memorial is a London monument displaying a captured Napoleonic mortar
Samuel "Sam" Winchester is a fictional character and one of the two protagonists of the American drama television series Supernatural along with his older brother Dean. He is portrayed by Jared Padalecki. Sam was born on May 1983 to John and Mary Winchester in Lawrence, Kansas, he is one of two focal characters of the series. He is four years younger than his older brother Dean, he is named after Samuel Campbell. When Sam was only six months old, his mother Mary was killed by the demon Azazel, whom his mother walked in on while he was feeding Sam demon blood. Sam is saved from the ensuing fire by his father, who gives him to a four-year-old Dean to carry outside. Since that moment, Dean has felt responsible for Sam and became Sam's protector due to pressure from their father to keep his brother safe. Sam and Dean spent their childhood moving from town to town every few weeks while their father hunted supernatural beings and their mother's unknown killer; until the age of 8, Sam believed that his mother had died in a car accident and his father was a traveling salesman, until Dean revealed to him the existence of the paranormal.
Sam started hunting alongside his brother and father around the age of twelve, however, he began wanting a normal life without monsters. At nineteen, after a heated argument with John, Sam leaves for Stanford University, thus leaving his family and their hunting crusade behind him. At the start of the series, 22-year-old Sam is seen as a senior at Stanford, applying for law school. Sam has a girlfriend, with whom he lives and secretly plans to marry. One night, Dean comes to Sam's apartment seeking his help. Sam accompanies his brother. After defeating a woman in white and discovering a trail to lead them to their father, Sam returns to Stanford where he witnesses Jessica's death at the hands of a demon – the same way his mother was killed; this incites him to go with Dean to find their father and to kill the demon in order to avenge the deaths of his mother and his lover. In the consequent episodes, the brothers deal with dangerous mythical creatures and urban legends such as the wendigo, Bloody Mary, shapeshifters.
During this time, Sam begins experiencing episodes of precognitive dreams and once displays telekinesis. As the search for John continues, Sam argues with Dean – about the way Dean obeys his father's orders without question, while Sam questions them and resents his father's treatment of them as "loyal little soldiers"; the brothers split up, with Dean going to investigate a mystery his father has assigned him while Sam decides to search for their father elsewhere. The two are reunited after Dean apologizes. In the season, John is captured by demons, the brothers manage to rescue him. However, they soon learn that the demon who killed their mother is in possession of their father's body. Though John begs Sam to kill him, Sam instead shoots John in the leg using the Colt, the demon escapes; as Sam drives his father and a badly wounded Dean to a hospital, a truck driven by a demon-possessed man crashes into them, totaling Dean's Impala and gravely injuring the Winchesters. At the beginning of the second season, the Winchesters are at the Nashville hospital, with Sam and John escaping with minor injuries, while Dean is on the brink of death.
In a deal with Azazel, John sacrifices the Colt in exchange for Dean's life. While the boys mourn their father's death, Sam expresses much guilt about never having a chance to reconcile with John, leading him to believe that his father died thinking his own son hated him; as the boys start to take a more active role in hunting, Sam begins to search for psychic children like him to find out Azazel's plan. Sam learns from Dean that, before their father's death, John told Dean that Azazel is planning to turn Sam evil, that Dean must either save him or kill him. Although angered at his father and brother upon learning this revelation, Sam decides to save as many people as possible so that he can change his destiny. In the season finale, Sam is transported to an abandoned town along with Azazel's other chosen children. There he learns Azazel's plans: he and the other children must kill one another until there is one survivor – who will lead a demon army. Sam discovers that Jessica was killed because her death would lead Sam back into hunting and Mary interrupted Azazel during the process of feeding Sam demon blood, thus was killed.
It is revealed that Mary somehow knew Azazel. Although Sam tries to protect the other children, various fights ensue, the children are killed off one by one. Only Jake Talley and Sam are left, at which point Sam is stabbed by Jake. Sam dies in Dean's arms. In the aftermath, a desperate and depressed Dean sells his soul to the Crossroads Demon for Sam's resurrection. With the help of fellow hunters Bobby Singer and Ellen Harvelle and Dean track down Jake, but are unable to stop him from opening a gateway to Hell on Azazel's orders. However, Sam kills him in cold blood. Bobby and Ellen manage to close the gateway while Sam and Dean battle Azazel. With the help of John's spirit, Dean kills Azazel and John shares an emotional moment with his sons before moving on. Afterwards, Sam learns that he was dead and Dean sold his soul to bring him back, he promises Dean that he will save him no matter what it takes. Sam continues to do.
Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom and strategic warfare and the sponsor of arts and strategy. From the second century BC onward, the Romans equated her with the Greek goddess Athena, though the Romans did not stress her relation to battle and warfare as the Greeks did. Following the Greek myths around Athena, she was born of Metis, swallowed by Jupiter, burst from her father's head armed and clad in armor. Jupiter forcefully impregnated the titaness Metis, which resulted in her attempting to change shape to escape him. Jupiter recalled the prophecy that his own child would overthrow him as he had Saturn, in turn, Saturn had Caelus. Fearing that their child would be male, would grow stronger than he was and rule the Heavens in his place, Jupiter swallowed Metis whole after tricking her into turning herself into a fly; the titaness gave birth to Minerva and forged weapons and armor for her child while within Jupiter's body. In some versions of the story, Metis continued to live inside of Jupiter's mind as the source of his wisdom.
Others say she was a vessel for the birth of Minerva. The constant pounding and ringing left Jupiter with agonizing pain. To relieve the pain, Vulcan used a hammer to split Jupiter's head and, from the cleft, Minerva emerged, adult, in full battle armor, she was the virgin goddess of music, medicine, commerce and the crafts. She is depicted with her sacred creature, an owl named as the "owl of Minerva", which symbolised her association with wisdom and knowledge as well as, less the snake and the olive tree. Minerva was worshipped at several locations in Rome, most prominently as part of the Capitoline Triad, she was worshipped at the Temple of Minerva Medica, at the "Delubrum Minervae", a temple founded around 50 BC by Pompey on the site now occupied by the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva. The Romans celebrated her festival from March 19 to March 23 during the day, called, in the neuter plural, the fifth after the Ides of March, the nineteenth, an artisans' holiday. A lesser version, the Minusculae Quinquatria, was held on the Ides of June, June 13, by the flute-players, who were useful to religion.
In 207 BC, a guild of poets and actors was formed to meet and make votive offerings at the temple of Minerva on the Aventine Hill. Among others, its members included Livius Andronicus; the Aventine sanctuary of Minerva continued to be an important center of the arts for much of the middle Roman Republic. As Minerva Medica, she was the goddess of medicine and physicians; as Minerva Achaea, she was worshipped at Lucera in Apulia where votive gifts and arms said to be those of Diomedes were preserved in her temple. Her worship was spread throughout the empire. In Britain, for example, she was syncretized with the local goddess Sulis, invoked for restitution for theft. In Fasti III, Ovid called her the "goddess of a thousand works". Minerva was worshipped throughout Italy, when she became equated with the Greek goddess Athena, she became a goddess of battle. Unlike Mars, god of war, she was sometimes portrayed with sword lowered, in sympathy for the recent dead, rather than raised in triumph and battle lust.
In Rome her bellicose nature was emphasized less than elsewhere. Minerva is featured on the coinage of different Roman emperors, she is represented on the reverse side of a coin holding an owl and a spear among her attributes. Stemming from an Italic moon goddess *Meneswā, the Etruscans adopted the inherited Old Latin name, *Menerwā, thereby calling her Menrva, it is presumed that Minerva, is based on this Etruscan mythology. Minerva was the goddess of wisdom, art and commerce, she was the Etruscan counterpart to Greek Athena. Like Athena, Minerva burst from the head of her father, who had devoured her mother in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent her birth. By a process of folk etymology, the Romans could have linked her foreign name to the root men- in Latin words such as mens meaning "mind" because one of her aspects as goddess pertained to the intellectual; the word mens is built from the Proto-Indo-European root *men-'mind'. The Etruscan Menrva was part of a holy triad with Tinia and Uni, equivalent to the Roman Capitoline Triad of Jupiter-Juno-Minerva.
As a patron goddess of wisdom, Minerva features in statuary, as an image on seals, in other forms at educational institutions. The Seal of California depicts the Goddess Minerva, her birth fully-grown parallels California becoming a state without first being a territory. According to John Robison's Proofs of a Conspiracy, the third degree of the Bavarian Illuminati was called Minerval or Brother of Minerva, in honor of the goddess of learning; this title was adopted for the first initiation of Aleister Crowley's OTO rituals. Minerva Schools at KGI is a global four-year undergraduate program A statue of Minerva is displayed by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is the university's new graphic identity starting 2004. A small Roman shrine to Minerva stands in Chester, it sits in a public park. A statue to Minerva was designed by John Charles Felix Rossi to adorn the Town Hall of Liverpool, where it has stood since 1799, it was restored as part of the 2014 renovations conducted by the city.
The Minerva Roundabout in Guadalajara, located at the crossing of the López Mateos, Vallarta, López Cotilla, Agustín Yáñez, G
The Metamorphoses is a Latin narrative poem by the Roman poet Ovid, considered his magnum opus. Comprising 11,995 lines, 15 books and over 250 myths, the poem chronicles the history of the world from its creation to the deification of Julius Caesar within a loose mythico-historical framework. Although meeting the criteria for an epic, the poem defies simple genre classification by its use of varying themes and tones. Ovid took inspiration from the genre of metamorphosis poetry, some of the Metamorphoses derives from earlier treatment of the same myths. One of the most influential works in Western culture, the Metamorphoses has inspired such authors as Dante Alighieri, Giovanni Boccaccio, Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare. Numerous episodes from the poem have been depicted in acclaimed works of sculpture and music. Although interest in Ovid faded after the Renaissance, there was a resurgence of attention to his work towards the end of the 20th century. Today the Metamorphoses continues to be retold through various media.
The work has been the subject of numerous translations into English, the first by William Caxton in 1480. Ovid's decision to make myth the dominant subject of the Metamorphoses was influenced by the predisposition of Alexandrian poetry. However, whereas it served in that tradition as the cause for moral reflection or insight, he made it instead the "object of play and artful manipulation"; the model for a collection of metamorphosis myths derived from a pre-existing genre of metamorphosis poetry in the Hellenistic tradition, of which the earliest known example is Boio' Ornithogonia—a now-fragmentary poem collecting myths about the metamorphoses of humans into birds. There are three examples of Metamorphoses by Hellenistic writers, but little is known of their contents; the Heteroioumena by Nicander of Colophon is better known, an influence on the poem—21 of the stories from this work were treated in the Metamorphoses. However, in a way, typical for writers of the period, Ovid diverged from his models.
The Metamorphoses was longer than any previous collection of metamorphosis myths and positioned itself within a historical framework. Some of the Metamorphoses derives from earlier poetic treatment of the same myths; this material was of varying quality and comprehensiveness—while some of it was "finely worked", in other cases Ovid may have been working from limited material. In the case of an oft-used myth such as that of Io in Book I, the subject of literary adaptation as early as the 5th century BC, as as a generation prior to his own, Ovid reorganises and innovates existing material in order to foreground his favoured topics and to embody the key themes of the Metamorphoses. Scholars have found it difficult to place the Metamorphoses in a genre; the poem has been considered as a type of epic. The poem is considered to meet the criteria for an epic. However, the poem "handles the themes and employs the tone of every species of literature", ranging from epic and elegy to tragedy and pastoral.
Commenting on the genre debate, G. Karl Galinsky has opined that "... it would be misguided to pin the label of any genre on the Metamorphoses."The Metamorphoses is comprehensive in its chronology, recounting the creation of the world to the death of Julius Caesar, which had occurred only a year before Ovid's birth. In spite of its unbroken chronology, scholar Brooks Otis has identified four divisions in the narrative: Book I–Book II: The Divine Comedy Book III–Book VI, 400: The Avenging Gods Book VI, 401–Book XI: The Pathos of Love Book XII–Book XV: Rome and the Deified RulerOvid works his way through his subject matter in an arbitrary fashion, by jumping from one transformation tale to another, sometimes retelling what had come to be seen as central events in the world of Greek mythology and sometimes straying in odd directions, it begins with the ritual "invocation of the muse", makes use of traditional epithets and circumlocutions. But instead of following and extolling the deeds of a human hero, it leaps from story to story with little connection.
The recurring theme, as with nearly all of Ovid's work, is love—be it personal love or love personified in the figure of Amor. Indeed, the other Roman gods are perplexed and made ridiculous by Amor, an otherwise minor god of the pantheon, the closest thing this putative mock-epic has to a hero. Apollo comes in for particular ridicule as Ovid shows how irrational love can confound the god out of reason; the work as a whole inverts the accepted order, elevating humans and human passions while making the gods and their desires and conquests objects of low humor. The Metamorphoses ends with one of only two surviving Latin epics to do so; the ending acts as a declaration that everything except his poetry—even Rome—must give way to change: "Now stands my task accomp
Spiders are air-breathing arthropods that have eight legs and chelicerae with fangs able to inject venom. They are the largest order of arachnids and rank seventh in total species diversity among all orders of organisms. Spiders are found worldwide on every continent except for Antarctica, have become established in nearly every habitat with the exceptions of air and sea colonization; as of November 2015, at least 45,700 spider species, 113 families have been recorded by taxonomists. However, there has been dissension within the scientific community as to how all these families should be classified, as evidenced by the over 20 different classifications that have been proposed since 1900. Anatomically, spiders differ from other arthropods in that the usual body segments are fused into two tagmata, the cephalothorax and abdomen, joined by a small, cylindrical pedicel. Unlike insects, spiders do not have antennae. In all except the most primitive group, the Mesothelae, spiders have the most centralized nervous systems of all arthropods, as all their ganglia are fused into one mass in the cephalothorax.
Unlike most arthropods, spiders have no extensor muscles in their limbs and instead extend them by hydraulic pressure. Their abdomens bear appendages that have been modified into spinnerets that extrude silk from up to six types of glands. Spider webs vary in size and the amount of sticky thread used, it now appears that the spiral orb web may be one of the earliest forms, spiders that produce tangled cobwebs are more abundant and diverse than orb-web spiders. Spider-like arachnids with silk-producing spigots appeared in the Devonian period about 386 million years ago, but these animals lacked spinnerets. True spiders have been found in Carboniferous rocks from 318 to 299 million years ago, are similar to the most primitive surviving suborder, the Mesothelae; the main groups of modern spiders and Araneomorphae, first appeared in the Triassic period, before 200 million years ago. The species Bagheera kiplingi was described as herbivorous in 2008, but all other known species are predators preying on insects and on other spiders, although a few large species take birds and lizards.
It is estimated that the world's 25 million tons of spiders kill 400–800 million tons of prey per year. Spiders use a wide range of strategies to capture prey: trapping it in sticky webs, lassoing it with sticky bolas, mimicking the prey to avoid detection, or running it down. Most detect prey by sensing vibrations, but the active hunters have acute vision, hunters of the genus Portia show signs of intelligence in their choice of tactics and ability to develop new ones. Spiders' guts are too narrow to take solids, so they liquefy their food by flooding it with digestive enzymes, they grind food with the bases of their pedipalps, as arachnids do not have the mandibles that crustaceans and insects have. To avoid being eaten by the females, which are much larger, male spiders identify themselves to potential mates by a variety of complex courtship rituals. Males of most species survive a few matings, limited by their short life spans. Females weave silk egg-cases. Females of many species care for their young, for example by carrying them around or by sharing food with them.
A minority of species are social, building communal webs that may house anywhere from a few to 50,000 individuals. Social behavior ranges from precarious toleration, as in the widow spiders, to co-operative hunting and food-sharing. Although most spiders live for at most two years and other mygalomorph spiders can live up to 25 years in captivity. While the venom of a few species is dangerous to humans, scientists are now researching the use of spider venom in medicine and as non-polluting pesticides. Spider silk provides a combination of lightness and elasticity, superior to that of synthetic materials, spider silk genes have been inserted into mammals and plants to see if these can be used as silk factories; as a result of their wide range of behaviors, spiders have become common symbols in art and mythology symbolizing various combinations of patience and creative powers. An abnormal fear of spiders is called arachnophobia. Spiders are chelicerates and therefore arthropods; as arthropods they have: segmented bodies with jointed limbs, all covered in a cuticle made of chitin and proteins.
Being chelicerates, their bodies consist of two tagmata, sets of segments that serve similar functions: the foremost one, called the cephalothorax or prosoma, is a complete fusion of the segments that in an insect would form two separate tagmata, the head and thorax. In spiders, the cephalothorax and abdomen are connected by the pedicel; the pattern of segment fusion that forms chelicerates' heads is unique among arthropods, what would be the first head segment disappears at an early stage of development, so that chelicerates lack the antennae typical of most arthropods. In fact, chelicerates' only appendages ahead of the mouth are a pair of chelicerae, they lack anything that would function directly as "jaws"; the first appendages behind the mouth are called pedipalps, serve different functions within different groups of chelicerates. Spiders and scorpions are members of the arachnids. Scorpions' chelicerae are used in feeding. Spiders' chelicerae have two sections and terminate in fangs that are venomous, fold away behind the upper sections while not in use.
The upper sections have thick "beards