Do you have a spider sense?
I know I do, my sense turns on and tunes in, if I see anything dark on the carpet, walls and bath. My eyes go directly to the spot of whatever it is. Last night that happened to be a spider. You need to be really quick to catch them. Fortunately we have a spider catcher that will go on most surfaces and walls. Of course if you fear something its always good to know some facts about it.
Spiders come from the arachnid family. Other arachnids include, ticks, mites and scorpions. Makes my skin crawl just typing it out. Interestingly spiders can't chew and are not classed as insects, simply because insects have six legs and wings. Of course if you want to get really technical, you could say that spiders are "arthropods". What are arthropods? You're wondering, well in this particular group you can find insects, crustaceans, crabs, barnacles
and shrimps. There are 30,000 kinds of spider, crawling around out there. Spiders are predators and will eat their own kind.
My favourite fact would be their spider sense. The tiny hairs found on their legs pick up smells and vibration from the air. Which means when your running all over the place, wondering what to do, the arachnid is picking up your vibration and smell.
Most spiders are venomous, and also have fangs. Yet another gruesome thought. Spiders such as the Brown Recluse and Black Widow can cause serious nerve damage, that if left untreated will lead to death, so anti-venom is needed as soon as possible.
Not all spiders can spin a web, but they all produce silk. Spiders produce what is called a "dragline", this line of silk helps the spider get back to its home (web). Spider silk is a very strong substance, and can be stretchy, dry and sticky. So just like spiderman, spiders actually use their silk to travel with. They can attach some silk to a branch of a tree and let the wind carry them. I believe this is called "ballooning".
More Facts About Spider's
Of course those that can't spin webs hunt for their's instead. There are spiders that can camouflage themselves, spiders that will run after their prey, spiders with exceptional sight and can see up to great distances, which leaves spiders that use their poison and fangs to kill their prey. Trapdoor spiders do literally build a small trapdoor, where they will watch their prey, and then leap out when the time is right. Which leaves us with the jumping spider, that will pounce on its prey, with a spare safety line to use as a quick get away.
A spider can lay anywhere between 2 and 1,000 eggs, and hangs them up in a sac somewhere it thinks will be safe. The Wolf Spider actually carries her sac on her back until they hatch.
Spiders can't chew on their prey so they inject poison through their fangs turning them into a goo and suck it up. They will leave the outer shell of the insect and suck out the insides. Spiders that spin webs prefer to crush their prey, then liquiefy it with digestive juices before sucking it up.
© 2011 Helen Bolam
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