Showing posts with label Arachnids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arachnids. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Spider Sheet Webs


We've now learned that orb weaver spiders that build big spiral webs,
some spiders build cobwebs or tangle webs,
some build funnel webs, and others build tubular webs.

Another type of web is called a sheet web.

Sheet webs are large webs that can cover very large areas, up to a meter wide!


(from: wikipedia - linyphiidae)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Oryx

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Spider Tubular Webs


We've now learned that orb weaver spiders that build big spiral webs,
other spiders build cobwebs or tangle webs,
and others build funnel webs.

Another type of web is called a tubular web.

These types of webs are built in cracks in walls, or trees.
The spiders put their web out from the cracks so they can feel when an insect walks over it,
and when they feel their web move they jump out and bite their prey.


(from: wikipedia - segestria florentina)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Wildebeest

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Spider Funnel Webs


We've now learned about orb weaver spiders that build big spiral webs,
and other spiders that build cobwebs or tangle webs.

Another type of web out there is called a funnel web.

Many times funnel webs are built on the ground. They are large flat webs with a funnel hole in the middle where the spider hides.
When an insect comes along they get stuck on some of the small tangles on the web, and the spider comes running quickly out to give them a venom filled bite.


(from: wikipedia - agelenidae)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Impala

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Spider Cobwebs


We just learned about the spiders named orb weavers that build the big spiral webs.

Some spiders spin other types of webs called tangle webs or cobwebs.

Usually when we think of cobwebs they're messy dirty webs that are not well taken care of.
Sometimes cobweb spiders make them like that, but others have many different types.


(from: wikipedia - latrodectus)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Gazelle

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Spider Spiral Orb Webs


Usually when we think of spider webs, we think of the big spirals, but not all spiders make webs like that.

The spiders that make the big spiral orbs, are called orb weavers.

When they build the web, the start off by using non-sticky silk so they don't get stuck to their own web.
They tie one line of silk across two spots.
Then they hook another line of silk in the middle and drag it down, so it is almost in a Y shape.
They keep adding more lines from the middle of that Y to the outside where they can hook the silk line.
These lines are called radial lines.

After the radial lines are done, the spider makes a small circle of threads in the middle to tie the web tightly.
Next it makes a few wide spaced spiral circles around the web.
That makes a nice starting point for the web, and a place for the spider to walk.

Next the spider starts with the sticky web. It walks around on the non-sticky spirals it just made, and replaces them with sticky spirals very close together so they can catch bugs.
They do this for the whole rest of the web, then sit there and wait for some food.

Many of the spiders take down their whole web every night and eat the silk, then rebuild it again right after!
That's a lot of work, but it helps keep the web from getting all covered in dirt.

(from: wikipedia - spider web)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Kudu

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Spider Exoskeleton


Our bones are on the inside of our body, and surrounded by muscles and fat and skin.

Spiders have their bones on the outside of their body, just like a big shell.
That is called an exoskeleton. Exo means outer.

Our skeleton on the inside is called an endoskeleton. Endo means inner.

A spider's exoskeleton is very hard and protects their heart and lungs and brain from getting hurt.

(from: wikipedia - spider)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Antelope

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Spider silk - cribellum


Some spiders have something called a cribellum instead of just normal spinnerets.
When they make silk, it comes out as very tiny string which gets all wrapped around itself and looks almost like it is made of wool.

Because the silk is so tiny and all bunched up, insects get tangled up in it and the spiders can go capture them.


(from: wikipedia - cribellum)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Blue Jay

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Spider silk - webs


When spiders make webs, they use different types of silk.

Some parts of the web like the spoke lines going straight out are not sticky. Those are called ampullate or dragline silk.

Other parts that are sticky and bugs can get caught on are called flagelliform, or capture lines.

(from: wikipedia - spider silk)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Mink

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Spider Gossamer Silk Ballooning


Sometimes when little baby spiders are born, there are not enough small insects for all the spiders to share for food,
so they need to move to a new place where there are more things for them to eat.

It would take a very long time for them to walk far enough to find more food, so they have a special way to travel very far easily.
The baby spiders stand up on their tip toes, put their abdomen in the air, and using their spinnerets they shoot some very fine silk called gossamer out. The gossamer collects together and almost looks like a kite.
Then the spider waits for a gust of wind to come along, and because they are just tiny spiders they get picked up and blown through the air, flying until they land on something like a tree where they can set up a web and start looking for food.

This is called ballooning or kiting.

(from: wikipedia - spider silk)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Reindeer

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Spider Silk Glands


Spiders make silk in a part of their body called the silk gland.

The silk gland makes a liquid out of something called proteins.
The liquid goes into a large area called a sac where the silk liquid is saved.
When the spider wants to make the stringy silk, it squishes the liquid down a smaller tube.
This squishing makes the liquid start to turn harder because it is being squished so hard.

At the very end right by the spinnerets where the silk string comes out,
the silk liquid gets squished into a really tiny tube where it turns into the silky string that we see in spider webs.

(from: wikipedia - spider silk)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Red Fox

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Spider Spinnerets


In a spider's abdomen they have things called silk glands that make the silk that they use for their webs.

The silk starts out like a liquid, and gets squished out through small tubes called spinnerets.
The spinnerets spit the silk out like tiny strings, and they spin all the strings together to make a strong thread.

(from: wikipedia - spinneret (spider))


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Moray Eel

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Spider Hearts & Blood


Spiders have hearts up along the back side of their lower body, on the part called their abdomen.

Spiders don't have normal blood like we do, they have something called hemolymph.
It's kind of like our blood, but it's a blue or grey color instead of red, and it has different kinds of nutrients in it.

Our heart pumps blood to all the parts of our body in tubes called veins and arteries.
Spiders have a heart and some smaller tubes for their hemolymph, but mostly they just help dump it out on all the inside parts of the spider's body.

(from: wikipedia - chelicerata)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Electric Eel

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Spider Lungs


Spider lungs are located in the abdomen part of their body.

They don't have regular lungs like we do, they have something called book lungs.

The name comes from the way the lungs look on the inside.
There are stacks of air separated by body tissue.
The stacked up lines of body tissue kind of look like a book, which is why they are called book lungs.

Spiders don't breathe like we do, their book lungs are just sitting open and air flows into them.
They have a special liquid called hemolymph that helps soak up the oxygen into their bodies.

(from: wikipedia - book lung)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Electric Eel

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Spider Esophagus


We've learned about the spider's cephalothorax, where they have fangs in their chelicerae, and the parts that are almost like small arms by their mouth called pedipalps

Spiders don't have teeth, so they can't chew food up like humans do.
They use their fangs to kill small insects with venom.

When humans eat food, it goes into our stomachs where some things called enzymes help turn our food soft and mushy.

Spiders actually spit out some of those enzymes right onto the insects that they've killed, and then when the enzymes turn their food to mush they suck it up into their mouth to go down their esophagus into their stomach.


(from: wikipedia - spider anatomy)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Hyena

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Spider Pedipalps


Another part of the spider's cephalothorax is called the pedipalps
or sometimes just palps or palpi.

These are almost like another very short set of legs for a spider, and they even have bones like femur and patella and others, just like the legs do.

Some spiders have very long pedipalps like the Northern yellow sac spider

(from: wikipedia - pedipalp)

And some have shorter pedipalps like the clynotis severus jumping spider.

(from: wikipedia - spider)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Aardvark

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Spider Chelicerae


Another part of the spider's cephalothorax is called the chelicerae.
(sounds like kell iss er ee)

Some spiders chelicerae are very easy to see, like the bright green color of the jumping spider Phidippus audax.


(from: wikipedia - chelicerae)

The cheliserae is the part where spiders have their fangs.
The fangs are connected to venom glands. Venom is the poison in a spider's bite.

If you look up close, a spider's fangs look like a needle. They have a very sharp end that has a tiny hole in it.
They poke their prey like a fly or mosquito with their fangs, then inject them with venom just like a needle giving a shot.

Spiders can bite with their fangs and choose how much venom to use. They can just do a dry bite with no venom, or a little venom, or a whole shot of venom.

(from: wikipedia - chelicerae)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Flamingo

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Spider Eyes


We've learned that a spider's body is split up into the cephalothorax and abdomen.
A spider's eyes are on the cephalothorax.

There are so many spiders out there it's hard to keep track of what they are.
Even looking close sometimes it's very hard to tell the difference between two types of spiders.

One of the best ways to figure out what type of spider you're looking at is to look at the size, shape and place where it's eyes are.
Most spiders have eight eyes, but there are a few types of spiders that have six, four or two eyes.

The Caponiidae spider is one of the few spiders that has only two eyes.

(from: wikipedia - caponiidae)

Some spiders have big front eyes, and smaller eyes next to them

(from: wikipedia - jumping spider)

Some have small eyes up on their back.

(from: wikipedia - jumping spider)

And some spiders have two rows of eyes, one row right above the other.

(from: wikipedia - dolomedes)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Albatross

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Spider Cephalothorax & Abdomen


The main part of a spider's body is split up into two pieces:
cephalothorax and abdomen

The cephalothorax is where the head is and where the legs are attached.
The abdomen is the lower body part that has other organs like the spider's heart, lungs and the spider's silk.


(from: wikipedia - spider anatomy)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Lobsters

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Spider Legs


Let's keep learning about spider bodies.

Spider legs can be long and fuzzy or short and shiny, but they have leg bones just like we do.

Our human legs mostly consist of 6 parts:
The femur or thigh bone, the patella or knee cap, the tibia and fibula for our lower leg bones, and the foot bones tarsus and metatarsus.

Just like us spiders have a femur, patella, tibia, metatarsus and tarsus.
They don't have a tibula, but they do have two other bones.
The coxa and trochanter are right before the femur, and the coxa is attached to the spider's body.

Spiders don't have any muscles in their legs, the muscles are all in their body.
So if a spider dies, the legs will curl up because the muscles aren't holding the legs out anymore.

When spiders are walking or running, they keep at least four of their eight legs on the ground.


(from: wikipedia - spider)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Echidna

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Spider bodies


We've learned about the funny dancing peacock spider, and the big eyed Mommy wolf spider.

Let's learn a little bit about the parts of a spider's body.

All spiders have main bodies with two parts, they have eight legs, no wings and no antennae.
They also have chilicerae and pedipalps which are parts of their mouth.
Spiders have simple eyes and an exoskeleton.

We'll learn more about what some of those big words are next time!

(from: wikipedia - spider anatomy)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Duck