Even though no one wants to see them in their homes, spiders play an essential role in all ecosystems across our planet. So, as long as these eight-legged creepy crawlers stay outside, then we’re perfectly content allowing them to go about their business. Here are five fun facts about spiders that might help make them seem less frightening:
- They are nearsighted
Spiders have a lot of eyes. Most have eight while some only have four. Either way, even with all of those eyes on the prize, spiders do not see very far because they are nearsighted. This deficiency can be a real problem for humans, but for spiders, it really isn’t that big of a deal. Since they aren’t actively hunting their prey, just waiting for them to get caught up in their webs, the ability to see across a long distance doesn’t really help them.
- They produce silk
There are approximately 40,000 different known species of spiders across the world and every single one of them spins silk. As they’ve evolved over time, their ability to work with their silk has improved. In fact, there is one species of spider that can create seven different types of silk, each one used for a unique purpose.
- Some jump extraordinary distances
Well, this one may actually make spiders seem more frightening, but it is an interesting fact, nonetheless. Some jumping spiders are known to be able to jump up to 50 times their own length! They have an internal hydraulic system that helps to propel them forward then they’re hunting or trying to escape from a predator.
- Some are practically vegetarians
Originally, all spiders were thought to be carnivorous eaters. However, one species recently discovered in Central America, appears to be mostly herbivorous. The bagheera kiplingi spiders generally feed off the protein-rich buds of a certain kind of tree but during the dry season they also eat ant larvae and may cannibalize each other. Interesting, but still pretty creepy!
- They lay a lot of eggs
Female spiders can lay up to a whopping 3,000 eggs at a single time. That’s a lot of baby spiders! The level of care that a female spider will provide for her young varies from species to species. Some mother spiders will carry babies on her back while others will die shortly after laying her eggs.