They crawl in the dark. They build webs to trap their prey before they lunge at them and devour. Their fangs are filled with venom. And the many hairs on their legs make your own hairs rise in fear. But there is no escaping their many small eyes. Spiders are eight-legged-creatures feared by many people. Yet these creatures are quite misunderstood. So before we pass judgment on these arachnids, let us take a look at some interesting facts on spiders.
Spiders are the seventh organisms with the most number of species. In 2008, about 109 families and 40,000 species of spiders were recorded by taxonomists. So clearly, these creatures are pretty diverse. Yet they all have one thing in common, their body structure. A spider has eight legs and two main body parts, the abdomen and the thorax. So contrary to popular belief, these spiders are not insects because insects have two main body parts and 6 legs.
Speaking of body structures, spiders have different numbers of eyes. Spiders can have 8 or 6 eyes. Yet there are some that have less and a few that have no eyes at all. And even the spiders with eight eyes don’t really have good eyesight. Spiders are very much nearsighted and so they use the hairs on their bodies to sense if there are other animals near and to feel their way around.
All spiders have fangs with venoms. But not all of their venoms are lethal, to humans at least. So for most spider bites you only feel the pain or an inflammation but nothing more serious than that unless we are talking about the black widow. Black widows are highly poisonous. Despite her minute size, there have already been humans killed by a black widow’s bite. Good thing though, they don’t usually live near people. As to why they are called black widow, it is most likely because a black widow kills and eats her mate at times, making her a widow.
Tarantulas are quite the opposite of black widows. These tarantulas are the largest spiders in the world. And many are quite afraid of them because of their size. But to humans, a tarantula bite would cause nothing more than pain on the bitten area. So, they are not as lethal and scary as they look. In fact, tarantulas are quite good, good mothers, that is. They are highly protective of their children. They carry their cocoons with them and once the eggs have hatched, they still carry their babies on their backs. And if a baby falls off, mama tarantula will quickly retrieve the baby.
You see, not all spiders are to be afraid of, just like the fact that not all spiders spin webs. One particular spider is the wolf spider. The wolf spider would rather chase scuttling insects rather than build webs to trap them. And the wolf spider is just like all other spiders. Spiders prey on insects and keep them from overpopulating and infesting your garden or your home. So I guess spiders are quite nice creatures after all. Yet fear of spiders, called Arachnophobia, is one of the most common fears among humans.