Fact Friday – Spiders

Fysh read me the cutest book that we got sent – Ella and Owen and the evil pumpkin pie fight – about two little dragon twins who are constantly getting into trouble, this time they stumbled upon a pumpkin king who’s body was stolen and they had to help him…

Anyway, on their mission they ended up stuck in a spiders web and the giant tree spider came walking over (don’t worry they don’t get eaten) and Fysh wanted to know why it is that spiders don’t stick to their own webs, which is a pretty good question actually.

As it turns out, unlike their unsuspecting prey, spiders don’t come into contact with their webs all at once. Instead, they move nimbly along the strands of their webs with only the hairs on the tips of their legs making contact with the sticky threads. This minimizes the chances that they’ll get caught in their own trap! Pretty clever.

Personally, I’m not really a big fan of spiders, they give me cold shivers when I see them but at the same time I’m not really terrified of them either like my sister or person. So long as they stay off of me anyway… but turns out that Fysh knows quite a bit about them and was telling me all about how they can only have x amount of prey on their web before they need to rebuild etc.

Five Fabulous Facts :

  • Black widows are known for cannibalizing their mates, but this doesn’t actually happen all the time. The exception seems to be the red widow, where the male force feeds himself to the female by placing himself into her mandibles. If she ‘spits him out,’ so to speak, he will keep placing himself there until she eventually eats him.
  • While most spiders are solitary animals, there are some that form communities building large communal cobwebs. Colonies can number in the thousands of individuals and they will work together to incapacitate prey trapped in their webs and share the harvest with each other.
  • There are some ingenious ways spiders use to capture prey. For instance, the ogre-faced spider weaves a net between its front legs and then dangles above places where prey are likely to pass through. By using its web like a net, it scoops up hapless prey. Bolas spiders use a long line of silk ended with a spot of sticky glue (a bolas), swinging it at nearby moths to catch them, much like a fishing line.
  • The dance known as the tarantella is thought by some to have originated from the belief during the 16th and 17th centuries that the bite of a certain kind of wolf spider (named “tarantula,” being found in the Taranto region of Italy) would be fatal unless the victim engaged in frenzied dancing to certain music.
  • For its weight, spider web silk is actually stronger and tougher than steel.

Do you have any interesting spider facts to share with us?


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