Spiders


Barbara J. Feldman

Spiders are eight-legged creatures that produce silk and have venomous fangs. They are found in every continent expect Antarctica, and rank seventh in species diversity among all organisms! Although frequently associated with webs, there are some spiders that do not spin webs. Learn more at today’s site picks.

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  • Burke Museum: Spider Myths5 stars

    Spider expert Rod Crawford, Curator of Arachnids at Burke Museum in Seattle, WA, says that nearly all "widespread information about spiders is false." This collection of spider myths, misconceptions and superstitions has grown out of his desire to educate us. The first myth he tackles is that spiders are insects. Spiders, however, have eight legs and belong to the Class Arachnida, while insects have six legs and are in the Class Insecta. "Arachnids are as distant from insects, as birds are from fish. It really is not a trivial distinction!"

  • Enchanted Learning: Spiders5 stars

    For young explorers, Enchanted Learning has dozens of spidery crafts, rhymes and printable worksheets. My favorite clicks are the Label the Spider Anatomy printout (with definitions for spider parts such as spinnerets, pedicel, abdomen and cephalothorax) and the Tarantula fact sheet. "The biggest tarantula is Pseudotherathosa apophysis, which has a leg span of about 13 inches (33 cm). These arachnids have a very long life span; some species can live over 30 years."

  • Kidzone: Spiders5 stars

    Kidzone has lots and lots of spider activities (worksheets, printable puzzles, coloring pages) plus an excellent Spider Fact slide show and cool, creepy photo gallery. "All spiders are predators and many will eat other spiders. Scientists have found spiders in amber (Did you watch Jurassic Park?) that dates back to about 2 million years. Because spider's skeletons are quite small and fragile it is difficult to find whole fossilized spiders."

  • Spiderz Rule5 stars

    "Several families of hunting spiders, such as jumping spiders and wolf spiders, have fair to excellent vision. The main pair of eyes in jumping spiders even see in color." Australian teacher and webmaster Glenda Crew publishes the huge Spiderz Rule site that is chock-full of spider facts, photos, spider bite first aid, spider Q&A, poems, stories submitted by children, worksheets, art projects, and even recipes (for chocolate spiders and spider cookies!) For classroom activities and printable worksheets, look in the left-hand menu for Spider Lessons.

  • Termite.com: Spider Identification4 stars

    This site provides an identification guide to American spiders from the dangerous and venomous (such as brown recluse and black widow) to low-risk spiders (such as the huntsman and trap-door spiders. In addition to details about each spider's toxicity, physical description, and habitat facts, there is a first-aid page that describes spider bite symptoms and gives illustrated first-aid instructions. Termite.com also offers free printed copies of their spider chart via mail (if you live in the States.)

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  • Honorable Mentions

    The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!


    Cite This Page

  • Feldman, Barbara. "Spiders." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 17 May. 2011. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/resources/spiders/ >.


  • About This Page

  • By . Originally published May 17, 2011. Last modified March 9, 2014.

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