There are many animals on the planet that are truly scary, but spiders aren’t one of them. In fact, spiders do much more good than harm. Most people are afraid of spiders because they can bite. But only two kinds of spiders in the U.S. – the black widow and the brown recluse – are venomous to people. In the whole world, only 25 species of spiders can harm humans, out of over 37,000 species.
So what’s so great about spiders? First, they eat insects – and lots of them. One spider can eat over 2,000 insects a year. Without them, your home and garden would be overrun with flies, mosquitoes and beetles. Spiders also have several fancy tricks that make them different than any other animal.
Fun Facts about Spiders for Kids
- All spiders can spin silk, but not all spiders spin webs. Jumping spiders, for example, have great eyesight. They simply wait to pounce on their prey.
- Spiders can produce seven different kinds of silk. Some silk has special glue that makes it sticky to catch insects. Other silk is not sticky.
- Spiders make a nest of silk to protect their eggs. They place the eggs on the nest and then cover it with more silk to make a soft pocket.
- Spiders’ silk is so strong, it has been compared to steel.
- Most spiders eat insects, but a few large spiders eat birds and lizards.
- Spiders can’t chew up prey. Instead, they inject a substance into their prey that dissolves the animal’s insides. Then they suck the liquid through a feeding tube – sort of like a bug milkshake.
- The largest spider in the world is the Goliath birdeater. This spider is found in South America in Brazil, Venezuela and it is part of the tarantula family.
- The most venomous spider in the world to us humans is the Sydney funnel web spider found in eastern Australia.
- The wolf spider is one of the most popular garden spiders found in the US.
- Venomous: poisonous
- Overrun: invaded
- Pounce: jumping attack
- Dissolve: break down
Learn More All About Spiders
Watch this fascinating documentary video about the super spider by National Geographic:
A video documentary about all that you need to know about spiders.
Question: Do female spiders really eat their mates?
Answer: Sometimes. Spiders eat arthropods, including other spiders. A female spider might eat her mate because she sees it as lunch, not a mate.
Question: Do spider babies look like adults?
Answer: Spider babies look exactly like adults, only smaller. Sometimes they are a different color, as well.
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