Facts about spiders

Facts about spiders

  • The weight of insects eaten by spiders every year is greater than the total weight of the entire human population.
  • Spiders digest their food outside their body.
  • There can be up to nearly 5 million spiders per hectare.
  • The combined length of thread in a spider’s web is about 20-60 m and it can take the spider up to 3 hours to make an orbweb.
  • On an equal weight basis, spider silk is twice as strong as steel. In addition, spider silk is very elastic. It is this combination of strength and stretch that makes the energy-to-break of spider silk so high. Simply put, it is the toughest material known.
  • A spider eats the used silk of an old web before spinning a new one.
  • Spiders have 48 “knees”: 8 legs with 6 joints on each.
  • A jumping spider can jump up to 25 times its own body length.
  • Although spiders have eyes, they do not see well. Instead they use vibrations, which they can sense on the surface of their web. The tiny bristles distributed all over a spider’s body surface, are actually sensitive tactile receptors. These bristles are sensitive to a variety of stimuli including touch, vibration, and airflow.
  • When spiders were fed flies that had been injected with caffeine, they spun very “nervous” webs. When spiders ate flies injected with LSD, they spun webs with wild, abstract patterns. Spiders that were given sedatives fell asleep before completing their webs.
  • Little Miss Muffet of the nursery rhyme really existed. She was the daughter of Dr Mouffet who believed spiders had healing powers when eaten.

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