The cephalothorax is a tagma of various arthropods, comprising the head and the thorax fused together, as distinct from the abdomen behind. (The terms prosoma and opisthosoma are equivalent to cephalothorax and abdomen in some groups.) The word cephalothorax is derived from the Greek words for head (κεφαλή, kephalé) and thorax (θώραξ, thórax). This fusion of the head and thorax is seen in chelicerates and crustaceans; in other groups, such as the Hexapoda (including insects), the head remains free of the thorax. In horseshoe crabs and many crustaceans, a hard shell called the carapace covers the cephalothorax.
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