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5 fun facts about spiders

 

Did you know that March 14 is National Save-a-Spider Day? While some people find them scary, spiders are quite fascinating creatures. Each species of spider has a different way to spin their web and capture their prey — there’s even a spider that eats mostly plant buds making it the only known vegetarian spider!

Mr. Orlando is here with some cool facts about these eight-legged wonders of nature, and the next time you see one — give it the respect that it deserves.

 

Spiders are not insects, they are arachnids.
Photo by Anissa Wood licensed CC BY 2.0

While they still “bug” us out, spiders belong to a different family than insects like ants or beetles. With no antenna and two distinct body segments instead of three, spiders belong to a family known as arachnids, along with scorpions, ticks and mites.

 

Spider’s silk is one of the strongest natural materials on earth.
Photo by Pieter van Marion licensed CC BY-NC 2.0

Scientists today strive to recreate spider’s silk, but still haven’t been able to, despite advanced technology. The tensile strength (how far it can bend without breaking) of spider silk is a close second to steel! However, spider webs are far lighter, making them stronger by comparison.

 

Spiders are nearsighted.
Photo by Rushen licensed CC BY-NC 2.0

While you won’t see them wearing four pairs of glasses anytime soon, spiders are nearsighted. That means they cannot see objects that are far away from them, so it's actually you sneaking up on the spider!

 

Spiders don’t have muscles.
Photo by Iain Fergus licensed CC BY 2.0

While most animals use muscles to move around, spiders use something called “hydraulic power,” which means that they move their legs by shifting around their body’s internal fluids. This all happens in the cephalothroax; that's where the head — and all eight spider legs — are attached to. 

 

Spiders help take care of our environment by managing the volumes of insects.
Photo by Rushen licensed CC BY-NC 2.0

Every time you go outside in the summer and you’re not covered in a swarm of flies, you have spiders to thank. These little critters help control other insect populations that would grow out-of-control without these eight-legged caretakers.