Spiders (order Araneae) are air-breathing arthropods that have eight legs, and chelicerae with fangs that inject venom. They are the largest order of arachnids and rank seventh in total species diversity among all other groups of organisms. Spiders are found worldwide on every continent except for Antarctica, and have become established in nearly every habitat with the exception of air and sea colonization. As of 2008, approximately 40,000 spider species, and 109 families have been recorded by taxonomists.
- Spiders were around long before humans, and it is likely they will be around in some number far into the future, even if humans are not. When most land and sea animals died out during the Permian mass extinction, spiders survived. Spiders thrived when oxygen levels were both lower and higher than today, when the sunlight hitting the ground was both stronger and weaker, and when plant and animal populations were both greater and smaller. Silk and the evolvable nature of the genes that dictate it have enabled spiders to stake a claim on the land for hundreds of millions of years and they are likely to do so for hundreds of millions of years to come.
- Leslie Brunetta & Catherine L. Craig, Spider Silk (2010), Chapter 12 "Endless Forms" (p. 190).
- I've lately had two spiders
Crawling upon my startled hopes—
Now though thy friendly hand has brushed 'em from me,
Yet still they crawl offensive to mine eyes:
I would have some kind friend to tread upon 'em.
- Colley Cibber, Richard III (Altered) (1700), Act IV, scene 2, line 15.
- The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine!
Feels at each thread, and lives along the line.
- Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle I, line 217.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 745.
- Much like a subtle spider, which doth sit
In middle of her web, which spreadeth wide:
If aught do touch the utmost thread of it,
She feels it instantly on every side.
- Sir John Davies, The Immortality of the Soul, Section XVIII, Feeling.
- Or (almost) like a Spider, who, confin'd
In her Web's centre, shakt with every winde,
Moves in an instant, if the buzzing Flie
Stir but a string of her Lawn Canopie.
- Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas, Divine Weekes and Workes, First Week, Sixth Day, line 998.
- "Will you walk into my parlour?"
Said a spider to a fly;
"'Tis the prettiest little parlour
That ever you did spy."
- Mary Howitt, The Spider and the Fly.