The word “spider” comes from the Old English word spithra and is related to the German spinne, both of which mean “spinner.” The word “spinster” is also related and means “one who spins thread.” Spiders are not insects! Most people think they are, but they belong to a group of animals called ARACHNIDS.
There are approximately 38,000 known species of spiders. Scientists believe there are probably as many more to be discovered.
Spiders are vital to a healthy ecosystem. They eat harmful insects, pollinate plants, and recycle dead animal and plants back into the earth. They are also a valuable food source for many small mammals, birds, and fish.
Spiders have blue blood. In humans, oxygen is bound to hemoglobin, a molecule that contains iron and gives blood its red color. In spiders, oxygen is bound to hemocyanin, a molecule that contains copper rather than iron.
Spiders do not have teeth, so they cannot chew their food. Instead, they inject digestive juices into the innards of their meal. Then the spider sucks up it innards.
Spiders are blamed for all kinds of bumps, rashes, and growths. However, unlike mosquitoes or ticks, spiders don’t feed on human blood and they have no reason to bite a human unless they feel threatened or surprised. Additionally, spiders do not typically bite sleeping humans.
Arachnophobia is the fear of the spiders.
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