Spiders have always fascinated man for a long time. The web made by a spider is a captivating thing. Spider is an amazing organism in many respects. This unusual creature is found all over the world and in all seasons. Its size varies from that of a small dot to 20 centimetres. There are some varieties of spiders that can live without water for a year. A giant spider called tarantula feeds on birds and can live for as long as 15 years. In February 1985, Charles J. Seiderman of New York city captured a female bird-eating spider near Paramaribo, Surinam, which weighed a record peak of 122.2 grams. Normally most of the spiders live only for one year. The body of a spider is divided into the head and the trunk. It has eight legs and eight eyes. The silk that spiders fabricate for making their webs is produced in certain abdominal glands. A liquid in the form of fine thread comes out from a small hole at the top of its abdomen, which solidifies the moment it comes in contact with air. These threads are of different types. Some of them are sticky while others are dry and soft. The sticky thread helps the spider in catching its prey. As soon as a fly or a small insect touches or falls on the web, it gets entrapped in it. Now one wonders why doesn’t the spider itself get caught in its web? The reason the spider does not get trapped in its own web is due to a special kind of oil on its legs. In fact, when the spider moves across the web, it uses the dry-soft threads and is careful to avoid touching the sticky threads with its legs. Even if it does, the oily secretions on its feet prevent it from sticking and it moves along those threads easily. In England and Wales, there are more than 2,000,000 spiders in every acre of meadowland. Did you know that it has been estimated that in one year the spiders in the country eat a weight of insects that exceeds the total weight of the human population of England and Wales? Spider webs come in a variety of designs. Some of these are wheel-shaped while some are shaped like a funnel. The sticky threads, which are meant for trapping the prey, are separately located.
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