Spiders live everywhere. They even live in your basement. Spiders are
arachnids. They lived before the dinosaurs. They were one of the first animals
on the planet.
Spiders have two body parts. They are called the cephalothorax and the
abdomen. The spinnerets are on the end of the abdomen. Spinnerets help spiders
build webs.
Spiders can be lots of different sizes. They can be bigger than your hand.
They can even be smaller than the tip of a pen.
Most spiders have eight eyes. Some can see well and some cannot. Jumping
spiders have big eyes.
Spiders have two fangs. Spiders use fangs to bite their prey. Their fangs
poison their prey. Then the prey dies or gets weak. Some fangs go straight into
their prey like snakes. Other fangs go in sideways like pinchers.
Spiders have eight legs. Their legs are hairy. The hairs help them to feel
the vibrations on their web.
Female spiders are bigger than males. The male spider has to be careful or
the female might eat him. Sometimes the male will do a dance or bring an insect
for the female. Sometimes the males will fight over a female.
The female spider lays eggs. Some spiders lay thousands of eggs. Some
spiders only lay a few eggs. They wrap their eggs in an egg sac. The egg sac is
made of silk. The mother spider protects the egg sac. The eggs hatch and
spiderlings come out. Spiderlings are baby spiders. Some spiderlings go ballooning
to find a new home. Ballooning is when spiderlings climb to a high place and make a
line of silk. When the wind blows it helps the spiderlings float to their new home.
It is like their parachute.
*Some spiders carry their egg sacs with them.
*Wolf spiders carry their spiderlings on their abdomen. If one falls off, it will
climb back up the mother’s legs.
How do spiders catch their prey? Some spiders build webs. Other spiders
go out and hunt their prey.
Web weaving spiders make different kinds of webs. The orb weaver makes a
neat, tidy circle web. To make an orb web, the orb weaver spins their silk around
and around until they get to the center of the web. Then, they wait until they
feel the vibration of an insect in their web. When it spots the insect it walks over
to the insect and stabs it with its fangs. This poisons the insect and it makes it
insides soft and juicy. Now the spider can drink the insect’s juices.
*Some orb weavers make zigzags in their webs.
Other webs can be messy. Some spiders live in their webs. A funnel web
looks like a tornado inside. Some spiders make a web like a net. It carries the
web with it. When an insect comes along, the spider traps the insect with the
web.
Not all spiders make webs. Some spiders hunt their prey. Jumping spiders
jump on their prey. Other spiders hide to catch their prey. They can hide in a
flower, in the grass or in the bushes. Some run after and pounce on their prey.
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