Once you move past the instinctual fear of creepy crawlies, Spiders are fascinating animals. For some, spiders are the things that nightmares are made of, and they can make the toughest person run and scream. If you are one of the people who do not suffer from arachnophobia, here are a few fun facts for you. If you are a sufferer of arachnophobia, these facts may make you feel a little bit better.
1. The venom of spiders
All spiders, with the exception of one species, use venom to paralyze their prey. This venom is injected into the body of prey through a bite using their fangs. This venom makes their prey easy to eat. Spiders in the Uloboridae family do not have venom glands at all.
2. Liquid Diet
Wouldn’t you love to be able to drink milk shakes all day? Spiders do, kind of. Because a spider cannot ingest solid foods, it excretes a digestive enzyme into its paralyzed prey. This enzyme liquefies the tissue of the prey that they have caught. Then they simply suck their meal up; just like a milk shake!
3. Spiders love the hunt
All spiders are hunters, also known as predators. They stalk their prey. Many spiders learn and adapt to the habits of their prey to make catching them easy. Most spiders feed on other invertebrates, while other very large spiders prey on animals such as birds.
4. Spiders are silky smooth
All spiders can spin silk. This silk is used for many different purposes. The silk can be used to catch their next meal, protect their eggs, to build shelter, and to help then get around. Different spiders use their silk for different purposes. They even use different patterns when spinning their webs. Keep in mind, all spiders do not use webs. Spiders such as the wolf spider and the jumping spider have no use for webs.
5. Lady spiders are real man eaters
As with many animal species, the female spider is almost always than their male counterparts. If a female gets hungry enough, she will eat almost anything that comes her way, including potential boyfriends. Many spider species have elaborate dances and rituals that they follow before approaching a female to get her permission before getting too close. They do not want to be next on the menu.
6. Spiders, spiders everywhere!
There are spiders everywhere! There are spiders that are very small and spiders that are very large. A recent study proved that there is usually a spider within three feet of you all of the time. There are about 40,000 different species of spider that live in every part of the world except Antarctica.
7. Don’t call a spider an insect!
There are several differences between spiders and insects. Spiders have eight legs, while insects only have six. Insects have antennae, while spiders do not. Spiders are arachnids. Other arachnids include ticks, scorpions, and mites.
8. Strange spiders indeed
While there are many different spiders, most are not dangerous to humans. There are a few that are very venomous to humans however. The largest tarantula is called the Goliath Birdeater. The Giant Huntsman spider has a leg span of 12 inches. Yep, look at the ruler in your desk.
9. What do you mean?
The word “spider” is derived from a Greek word meaning spinner.
10. A tough shell to crack
While you have heard some people described as having a tough exterior, spiders really do! They have what is called an exoskeleton, which is what supports their bodies. They have no bones on the inside.