Among the thousands of invertebrates in the animal kingdom, the one I find the most interesting is the spider. Spiders, along with scorpions and ticks, belong to order Araneae, class Arachnida, under the phylum Arthropoda. What’s interesting about spiders is that although they are one of the most common and most known animals around the world, the ones that people see everyday in their households or in trees are only a small percentage since there are roughly 200 species. The common morphology of spiders is that they have two body segments, eight legs, and no wings.
However, while spiders are known to be very potent predators, the interesting aspect about their morphology is that they have no mouth to chew their food. Instead, like other arachnids, they have tiny structures called proboscis, which they use to suck the liquid out of their prey. In addition, spiders have multiple eyes. Although most species have eight eyes, some species, such as the ones found in North America and Cuba, have six eyes, while other species have four, two or even none at all.
However, among all the characteristics and capabilities of spiders, the most interesting and most unique is their ability to produce silk, which is thin, yet strong protein strand that is often released from a spiders abdomen. This unique ability, which people often call web, enables spiders to move from different heights, areas, and is also used to trap prey. Although the silk or the web is considered the trademark characteristic of the spiders, possibly the most fascinating aspect about it is that is actually consumed by the spiders after shooting it out.
In fact,when spiders descend a down a thin line of web, they also consume small parts of the silk as they go down. Moreover, when spiders consume their prey wrapped by their web, they also eat a large part of the silk. Another interesting aspect about spiders is their various hunting abilities that make them one of deadliest and most effective predators in the animal kingdom. The most common among those abilities is their web, which is a sticky component used to trap prey.
Moreover, certain spiders hide inside makeshift holes where they wait for unsuspecting insects which they would immediately grapple. In addition, some spiders also hide beneath flowers and plants where they would surprise insects, such butterflies, who come close. Furthermore, there are certain species of spiders have abilities which are unique only to them. The spitting spider, as the name implies, shoots out substance which is a combination of venom and sticky components to immobilize prey.
Venom is another hunting ability used by spiders which they inject using their fangs. The most poisonous among all species is the venom of the black widow spider. This venom of this spider has a substance called a neurotoxin, which can spread throughout the entire body of the prey and interferes with the body’s normal functions. The venom is so potent that it can kill a human within hours if not immediately treated.
However, despite the deadly nature of the black widow spider, what’s interesting about it is the origin of its name. It was observed that after mating, the female specie kills its male partner hence the name “black widow. ” In certain instances, however, the male specie is killed during mating or sometimes even before mating. Over-all, spiders are very small, yet very fascinating animals to study. Their unique hunting abilities and uncommon behavior make them one of the most interesting invertebrates in the animal kingdom.