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That’s a lot of spider legs! The winners of this month’s Kids Zooworks contest, featured in Zoobooks Spiders, did a wonderful job using their talents to draw these pictures. They really inspire the imagination to think about spiders in a whole different way. Which creative submission is your favorite?
When the Saint Louis Zoo calls spiders spineless, it’s not being mean… it’s just telling the truth! Spiders, after all, belong to a fascinating group of animals without backbones: invertebrates. Spiders and insects are both known as arthropods. These creatures can do a lot of good in the world, such as break down waste and pollinate plants, but they often don’t get much recognition for it. However, thanks to the Monsanto Insectarium of the Saint Louis Zoo, visitors can watch in awe as spiders, insects, and many other types of bug invertebrates go about their daily lives doing so much for the environment.
Not very many exhibits in North America showcase only bugs. But with over 100 species of live insects and more than 20 exhibit areas, Monstanto Insectarium gives people an insight to spiders, insects, and more like never before! With “Not Home Alone,” the Insectarium makes discovering bugs a hands-on experience. Guests are able to peer under the lids and peek into the drawers of various discovery zones in a complete garden, front porch, and kitchen. Other exhibits let visitors watch butterflies flutter and bees pollinate flowers and plants. Admission to the Insectarium is free, so check it out online to plan your visit!
When people think of spiders, they often imagine small, creepy creatures that crawl along in the dark looking for something to bite with their long, poisonous fangs. Fortunately, readers of Zoobooks Spiders know that spiders are helpful, useful, and fascinating creatures that rarely do anything to harm humans. In fact, most spiders aren’t even poisonous to people, and they help protect plants by eating insects when there are too many of them.
Scientists have named about 30,000 species of spiders that come in all kinds of colors, shapes, and sizes. Each of these spiders is one of the two specific types of spiders: wandering spiders or web building spiders. Wandering spiders have thick legs built for walking longer distances, while web builders have thin legs that help them balance on the tiny threads of their webs.
Both types of spiders have many different methods of catching prey. Web builders creatively use their webs to make sticky funnels, lassos or nets that snare insects for dinner. Wandering spiders often catch their prey through a surprise attack. Some hide in secret burrows or jump from a long distance away. Other wandering spiders have even been known to catch their prey by fishing for it or spitting on it!