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Spiders belong to the Arachnid family which also includes scorpions, mites, and ticks. Arachnids are creatures with two body segments, eight legs, no wings or antennae, and are not able to chew. There are more than 30,000 known species of spiders and scientists have found spider fossils dating as far back as 2 million years.
Keep reading for more fascinating facts on these eight-legged animals.
Introducing The Spider
- All spiders belong to the Arthropoda family.
- This family includes creatures that live on lands like insects, scorpions, and centipedes and creatures that live in water like crabs, crayfish, shrimp, and lobsters.
- Arthropods are the most successful animals on Earth.
- Spiders are arachnids and differ anatomically from other arthropods
- There are nearly 50,000 species of spider.
- Spiders are found on every continent except for Antarctica which is too cold for them to survive.
- Spiders are invertebrates, so they do not have a backbone.
- They have an exoskeleton, which means that their skeleton is on the outside.
- Spiders breathe air.
- They have eight legs.
- They have a mouthpiece with fangs, which can inject venom
- Spiders have a spinneret which is a silk-spinning organ
- Most spiders have either six or eight eyes.
- Most spiders are nearsighted so they only see things close by.
- Spiders use the hair on their body to feel their way around and to sense things around them.
- The size of spiders varies tremendously.
- The smallest ones are less than 0.37 mm (0.015 in) in body length.
- Tarantulas are the largest and heaviest spiders. Adults can be up to 90 mm (3.5 in) in length and have a leg span of up to 250 mm (9.8 in).
- The goliath bird-eating tarantula has a leg span of nearly a foot and is regarded as the world’s biggest spider.
- Spiders have segmented bodies with jointed limbs.
- Their bodies consist of two segments, the head/thorax, and the abdomen.
- The first segment is called the cephalothorax.
- It contains the eyes, mouth and fangs, stomach and brain, the glands that make the venom, and the legs.
- The second segment, the abdomen, contains the glands that produce the silk for making webs.
- Spiders have no jaws or teeth and can only take liquid food.
- Instead of teeth, they have chelicerae.
- These are pincer-like claws that end in fangs which are often venomous.
- They fold away when not in use.
- Spiders have 8 legs.
- They walk, run and move by use of hydraulics, not muscle.
- Spiders walk by alternating use of their legs. Two pairs of legs stay on the ground and support the body while the other two are off the surface.
- Spiders can move on almost any surface. It just needs the slightest texture for them to be able to grip.
- Spiders primarily feed on insects.
- Some large spiders eat worms, snails, and even small vertebrates like frogs.
- Spiders use a range of strategies to capture prey, from trapping it in sticky webs to chasing it and running it down.
- Spiders cannot chew or swallow; their guts are too narrow to take solids
- They must digest food outside their bodies and then drink the liquid.
- Female spiders are, in most cases, larger than male spiders and female spiders like to eat male spiders.
- Spider venoms consist of a mix of many chemicals.
- Some venoms are neurotoxins, which immobilize prey by attacking their nervous system and paralyzing them.
- The spider will then pump the prey with digestive enzymes which liquefies the prey.
- The spider then feeds on the liquid.
- Other venoms are cytotoxins, which break down the tissue so the spider can ingest a liquefied meal.
- Some spiders catch their prey in sticky webs.
- Spiders have silk-producing glands in their abdomen to make these webs.
- When a spider wants to produce a strand of silk, they have to pull this strand of silk out of their bodies. This pulling strengthens the silk which is woven into webs to trap insects.
- Webs either keep prey stuck or entangle it.
- Web spiders usually have poor vision but are very sensitive to vibration caused by prey struggling in the web.
Reproduction and Baby Care
- After mating, female spiders lay eggs, some species have as many as 3,000
- Females weave silk egg cases to protect the eggs.
- Females of many species also care for their young, carrying the egg case around with them.
- In some species, the females die after laying eggs.
- In many cases, the female eats the male after mating.
- Baby spiders, called spiderlings, are very small but resemble adults.
- Spiders have to molt to grow as their skin cannot stretch.
- In some species, males mate with females that have been newly molted while they are too weak to be a threat to them and eat them.
- Most species of spiders live for only one to two years as they have many predators besides female spiders.
- Only a few species of spider are dangerous to people.
- Most Spiders will flee and only bite humans when trapped/in self-defense.
- Most spider bites are no worse than an insect bite.
- The world’s most toxic/dangerous spiders are the Brazilian wandering spider and the Australian funnel-web spider. Their venom is highly toxic and a “bite” from them could prove fatal.
Did you know?
- Spiders play an important role on earth. They eat many harmful insects, helping to keep gardens pest-free. Spiders also help pollinate plants and recycle dead animals and plants back into the earth. Spiders are also a food source for many small mammals, birds, and fish.
- In some countries, spiders are not only eaten but considered a delicacy.
- Scientists are researching the use of spider venom to use in medicine and pesticides.
- A fear of spiders is called arachnophobia.
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use Spider Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about Spiders which belong to the Arachnid family and also include scorpions, mites, and ticks. Arachnids are creatures with two body segments, eight legs, no wings or antennae, and are not able to chew.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- Spider Facts
- About Arachnids
- Spider Sketch
- Spider Fact Or Fiction
- Spider Crossword Puzzle
- 4 Pics, 1 Enemy
- Spider Wiki
- Silk: What For?
- Fear of Spiders
- Spider Hall of Fame
- A Spider’s Story
Can spiders jump?
Yes, some spiders can jump. There are several species of jumping spiders and they can jump up to 50 times their own length. They jump on prey instead of building webs.
How many eyes does a spider have?
Spiders usually have eight eyes but they do not have good eyesight/vision.
Why do spiders have so many eyes?
Spiders can’t turn their heads to look at things. They need extra eyes to help them see what is happening around them.
Can spiders hear?
Spiders don’t have ears, but they do have vibration-sensing hairs so they pick up a vibration rather than a noise.
Do spiders sleep?
Most spiders are nocturnal so they will sleep during the day and hunt at night.
How long do spider webs last?
Spider webs/silk threads are strong and flexible and can last from hours to weeks if left undisturbed.
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Link will appear as Spider Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, December 7, 2017
Use With Any Curriculum
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