This has happened to all of us. You are hanging out in your room and then all of a sudden, you see this little guy on your wall:
Spiders have gotten a bad rap because they look so different than any other animal we know of, but these little guys are full of personality, much like the cats and dogs we share our homes with. Check out the following info about our eight-legged friends:
- Most spiders aren’t known for their social behavior, but female whip spiders caress and snuggle with their babies. If you think a two-armed hug feels great, think about an eight-legged one.
- Humans aren’t the only ones to use music to “set the mood,” if you know what I mean. The males of certain spider species pluck their web like a guitar to attract females.
- Golden wheel spiders are so awesome—they almost always escape from predators and do so by cartwheeling!
- According to Science News magazine, researchers have discovered the first-known vegetarian spider in Mexico. (Perhaps members of this species heard that human vegetarians and vegans are less likely to be obese and to develop various maladies than their meat-eating friends.)
Spiders are super-helpful to us, but unfortunately, we choose to harm them in horrible ways:
- Scientists experiment on spiders, hoping to harness the strength and flexibility of spider silk for suture thread and to create a fabric that could replace Kevlar. If they are kept together in captivity, however, spiders can succumb to stress-induced cannibalism.
- Tarantulas used in movies and commercials are sometimes defanged, a horribly painful procedure that turns them into helpless amputees. Just like us, spiders use their fangs to chew their food.
- Spiders kept as “pets” suffer from the overwhelming stress of unnatural confinement and loneliness, so it’s no surprise that they lash out at owners who are usually unaware of their complex needs.
So, you might still be a little creeped out by spiders, but surely, you don’t want to harm these fascinating little guys.
What can you do?
The next time that you see an eight-legged visitor in your room, remain calm and remember that they are more afraid of you than you are of them. If you must evict spiders, carefully trap them in an upside-down jar and release them outside. You can also easily take them outside using PETA US’ Humane Bug Catcher.
Remember: Never buy tarantulas or any other exotic animals. Tarantulas are highly intelligent animals who build tented shelters, and they’re compassionate—mother tarantulas are known to starve themselves so that their offspring can eat. They shouldn’t have to spend their lives trapped in tanks, in a lab, or on movie sets.