Written by Neel Goenka, a grade 8 student.
Spider, the ‘insect’ that is not exactly an insect. Most people know that spiders are arachnids and that some are venomous and some are not! Today I am going to expand into a different perspective on spiders that you probably have not considered before.
Let us start with the basics. What are spiders?
Spiders are part of a group of animals called “arachnids”. In this group, you can find Scorpions, mites, and ticks. Arachnids are creatures two body segments, the head (prosoma), and the body, (Abdomen), eight legs. Spiders don’t have wings or antennae. Fun fact, Spiders are not insects at all!
Spiders are arthropods that have 8 legs, an arthropod is an invertebrate animal with an exoskeleton, they have fangs mostly injecting venom.
Spiders produce silk from a gland called the spinneret glands found on the bottom of their abdomen. Every gland makes a string-like substance for special use. Some of the silk could be used as a sturdy silk strand for a bridge or a sticky silk web to catch their prey to feed on, maybe they even make very fine, smooth silk to wrap their prey.
There are 35,000 species of spiders in the world with only about 12 that can kill you. Some spiders can range up to 30 centimeters (1 foot) like the Goliath birdeater, to 0.43 millimeters in size (A pinhead) like the orb-web spider.
Where do spiders live?
In short, Spiders can live anywhere. But you can find more of an abundance of spiders in a hot humid environment. Some places that you will find them ranging from deserts to rain forests to backyards and everything in between.
What are the different types of spiders?
There are so many different types of spiders. Some spiders float on water and some spiders fly. What is really interesting is how these spiders fly! Some spiders, like the ballooning spiders, operate within a planetary electric field, according to Wikipedia “the Planetary electric Field generates electrical currents by motion in an electrically-conducting region of the planet’s interior (a molten outer core in the case of Mercury, and the Earth).”. When silk leaves their bodies, it picks up a negative charge. This makes the similar negative charges on their surfaces on which the spider’s glide on, creating enough force to lift them up.
Another interesting aspect of seeing this are spiders in ancient times, like Ancient Egypt. Let us get some background information. Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa. It was along the lower part of the Nile River situated in a place that is known as modern-day Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization was very successful; this came partly from its ability to adapt to the conditions of the Nile River valley for crops and plants.
Ancient Egypt lasted for around 3000 years (3150 BC to 35 BC)
The spider was a powerful and old totem/symbol that was found all around the globe in those times in various forms. The ancient spider symbolized many emotions such as but not limited to; fear, disgust, panic, curiosity, and appreciation. There were many gods and goddesses in ancient Egypt. Some happened to take the form of the spider. One of them was called Neith. Neith was the spinner and weaver of destiny.
Neith was often seen holding a spinner or bow depicting her archery skill. There are lots of other amazing stories in the ancient worlds of Greek and Indian mythology.
Spiders usually just frighten you or creep you out. But if you dig a bit deeper they seem to spin a lot more interesting stories (pun intended) than what is superficially understood. Who would have thought that spiders are considered spiritual totems who emit feminine power!??
Think outside the box.
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