How Spiders Work

Spiders are second only to snakes in the dread departemnt, but they're actually very helpful arachnids who are only deadly to humans under the worst case scenario. Of the more than 40,000 species, very few spiders are even venomous to humans. Learn everything you ever needed to know about these 8-legged wonders in today's episode.

The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Relax, you've got some good stuff to read. Enjoy!

Deformed Baby Spider Brains

If you were born a baby spider, things would have turned out much differently for you. You'd have been mostly brain, for example. Researchers have long suspected that tiny spiders -- the young of which are routinely born deformed yet grow into normally proportioned adults -- are born with very large brains. Now they know it, thanks to what I imagine is research that amounted to dissecting deformed spider babies carried out by arachnid specialists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, down Panama way.

Animal Kingdom!: The Nursery Web Spider

I think there's probably nothing more disturbing than a giant spider, one where you can see all of its mouth parts and eyes and hairs. Extremely close up photography provides some of the unsettlement, but at least you can't hear the terrible sounds they make. Their ability to terrify me (only in gigantism) notwithstanding, spiders are also extremely interesting creatures (arachnids, to be technical).