Arachnids

Arachnids or Spiders as they are more commonly known are bugs with eight legs and fangs with which they use to stun there prey. The most redeeming feeling of spiders are that they have the ability to shoot a string of web or 'spider silk' to make there home within which they are able to catch there prey wich include mainly insects. They are mainly air-breathing but are sometimes known to be able to live in water. Mostly spiders live in there 'webs' which are high up in plants or trees but some, like the Burrowing Wolf Spider,are known to live in burrows and jump out onto there prey.

Facts

  • The name Arachnid comes from the latin word Araneae.
  • Arachnids can also be Scorpians, Ticks, Mites, Harvestmen and Ochizomids.
  • Fossils suggest that Arachnids are among the first land creatures to live in this planet.
  • Arachnids are found in many regions but are mostly found in dry and tropical areas.
  • Arachnids are also among the Invertebrate group.
  • Instead of having lungs they have a Treachea and book lungs.
  • They can also range in length from afew millimeters to 20cm in length! These arachnids have segmented bodies and a hard exoskeleton to protect them from predetors.
  • the Arachnids have many Sensory hairs upon their bodies and have slit sensory organs to help them see what they are doing and what is around them.
  • About 60,000 species of arachnids are known, although many, especially mites, remain undiscovered or undescribed.
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  • The subgroup name for Ticks and Mites is Acari. The name Amblypygids are also known as tailless whip scorpions or cave spiders.
  • Araneae, or spiders, are the most familiar of the arachnids and the most species-rich with around 40,000 described species.

The Story

Athena, goddess of wisdom, was a proud and talented, young goddess. In times of peace, Athena taught Grecians about the arts. She herself was a skillful weaver and potter and always took pride in her pupils' work, as long as they respected her.

One of Athena's pupils was a maiden whose name was Arachne. Arachne was a poor, simple girl who lived in the country. Her father was a quiet man of humble birth. He dyed sheep's wool to earn money for a living. Arachne wove beautiful fabrics of delicate designs, and people began to comment to her that surely she had been taught by the goddess Athena. Arachne denied this and stated that she was certainly better than Athena and that she had learned little or nothing from Athena's teachings. She even went as far as to say that she was a better weaver than Athena !

Arachne was known to have said,"I have achieved this marvelous skill due to my own talent, hard work, and efforts."

Soon Athena heard of the boastings of Arachne and decided to speak to her. Athena disguised herself as an old woman and went before Arachne stating, "It is foolish to pretend that you are like one of the gods. You're simply a mortal who talents are paled in comparison to those of the goddess Athena."

Arachne charged back to the old lady, "If Athena doesn't like my words, then let her show her skills in a weaving contest."
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Suddenly, the disguise of the old woman was removed and there stood the radiant goddess Athena standing in front of Arachne. Athena accepted the contest challenge.

As the contest began, it was clear that the beauty of both Athena's and Arachne's tapestries were lovely. However, the goddess worked more quickly and skillfully. Arachne's attitude about her work showed that she felt her weaving was more lovely, but Athena felt it was an insult to the gods. This angered Arachne especially since Athena requested an apology. Arachne refused, and Athena slapped Arachne in the face. Almost instantly Arachne felt her head begin to shrink and her nimble fingers grow into long, thin legs.

"Vain girl, since you love to weave so very much, why don't you go and spin forever." Athena had turned Arachne into a spider.

So it is said that all spiders have been punished for Arachne's boasting, since they are required to live within their own webs. Since then spiders have been called arachnids.

Dangerous Arachnids

Spiders
Spiders are important controllers of pests and only a very small number of species can or will bite humans even if provoked.
You have a better chance of dying from a bee sting than from a spider bite.
The only spiders in this article that are truly “dangerous” are the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse. Other than those, the bite of most spiders are comparable to a bee sting.
If you are ever bitten by any spider, capture it for identification as it can be important in determining the course of treatment.

Tarantula Will not bite unless provoked. There bites are no worse than a bee sting.
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Black Widow The bite of the adult female can be fatal. Will not bit unless provoked.
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Jumping Spider The chances of getting bitten by any species of jumping spider are slim to none. Will not bite unless provoked.
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Scorpians
Almost all scorpians will not sting unless stepped on or otherwise provoked.

Thanks for reading this page!
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With Thanks to Jessie Houtby, Kathryn Hosey, Nancy Lee & James Nicholls.

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