Hey kids, can you think of something an animal makse that can stretch 1½ times its original size, is incredibly lightweight, and is stronger that steel? The answer is spider silk! Spiders are amazing animals. Although there is one vegetarian species of spider we know of, most spiders are deadly predators. They stalk prey on
Hey kids, can you think of something an animal makse that can stretch 1½ times its original size, is incredibly lightweight, and is stronger that steel? The answer is spider silk!
Spiders are amazing animals. Although there is one vegetarian species of spider we know of, most spiders are deadly predators. They stalk prey on their eight legs, and when they catch a juicy insect, they wrap it up in silk, pierce it with their fangs, and pump it full of deadly venom. The venom paralyses the prey, and the spider uses a special digestive fluid, like stomach acid, to turn the insides of the insect into a liquid that the spider can slurp up as a snack!
Most spiders have four pairs of eyes – two big eyes and six little eyes – that they use to help them spot their prey. Jumping spiders leap for their prey, and can jump up to 50 times the length of their bodies! That would be like you making a jump of about 76 metres, or 250 feet!
Trapdoor spiders dig a hole in the ground and then cover it with a lid on a hinge of spider silk. They hide inside the hole, and when an unsuspecting insect wanders by, they leap out and grab it
But one of the most amazing and interesting facts about spiders is that they can spin a web of sticky strands to catch their prey. When an insect gets stuck in a web, vibrations the trapped insect make send a message through the web to the spider telling it exactly where to find the intruder.
Spider silk is incredible stuff. If you make a wire out of steel as thin as a strand of spider silk, the spider silk is stronger. The steel would snap under pressure, but the spider silk can stretch up to 1 ½ times its size, and it’s so light that if you stretched spider silk into a strand long enough to wrap around the whole Earth, it would only weigh 450 grams!
But silk isn’t just used for hunting. Baby spiders make non-sticky silk into a parachute that lets them drift around on the wind. Spiders attach themselves to their webs with a strand of dragline silk, that catches them if they fall just like a bungee cord. They can even make a stiff, hard kind of silk to wrap up a sac of eggs that will hatch into thousands of baby spiderlings.
Here are some more interesting facts about spiders:
The Goliath Bird-Eating Tarantula sounds scary, but it’s pretty harmless to humans. In fact, a tarantula bite is about as bad as a bee sting. But this spider is the biggest in the world — as big as a dinner plate! It can shoot sharp, irritating hairs from its body at anything it thinks is a danger (including humans), hisses at a threat so loudly that you can hear it 15 feet away, and can eat anything from beetles to frogs, small snakes, lizards, bats, and even climbs into nests to grab baby birds!
The smallest spider in the world is almost impossible to spot. It’s called Patu digua, from Borneo, and it’s so small at 0.37 mm that it would easily fit on the head of a pin!
The most venomous spider in the world actually has a Guiness World Record. The Brazilian wandering spider has venom so dangerous that a tiny drop, only 0.006 mg, is enough to kill a mouse!
Post by Sarah