March 14 – Save a Spider Day

Posted on March 14, 2018

I would rather eat pie and contemplate geometrical ratios today (see Pi Day links below) than looking for spiders to save...

But, on the other hand, today (like every day) is a good day to reflect on the fact that most spiders do a useful service to humans and to the environment in general - namely, catching and eating loads of insects that would otherwise plague us. And what do spiders get for their trouble?

Hatred. Shudders and screams. Fear. Being ground into the floor with the sole of a shoe. 

Instead of killing a spider seen in our house, maybe we can gently guide it onto a piece of cardboard and then carry it outside?

Instead of irrational fear, perhaps we can learn a bit more about spiders? And maybe we can admit that some are downright beautiful?

Here are a few fun facts:

Scientists have identified more than 44,500 species of spiders! And that's a "so far" - who knows how many more of the mostly-teensy critters scientists will eventually discover??

And...I guess maybe we might still discover a few not-so-teensy spiders?

Let's contemplate the fact that scientists have identified only about 6,000 mammal species. Compare that to almost 45,000 spider species!!! So...that means that almost all of the "barnyard animals" and "zoo animals" and "circus animals" - the most popular pets - all of the wide variety of mammals from hoary bats to blue whales and from reticulated giraffes to gray wolves - include only one seventh as many species as there are species of spiders!

There were spiders on the Earth long before there were dinosaurs...

Despite the fact that nearly all spiders have 8 simple eyes, most of them don't see all that well!

We think of caring for young as something that mammals and birds do - but many spiders care for their young, too. For example, a wolf spider might carry her egg sac for weeks, and once they hatch, she may still allow as many 100 spider babies to crowd onto her back for another week, until they're old enough to be on their own.

Check out these weird-and-wonderful species of spiders.

And here are a few more - these ones are the record holders: longest lives, best throwers, etc.

Have you ever seen these spider web decorations - created by the spiders themselves?

Here's a gallery of beautiful spider web photos.

And here's a few webs to enjoy right here:

What could be lovelier than a web
decked out in dew drops?

...Maybe a frozen web?

Also on this date:

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