The Private Life of Spiders

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Princeton University Press, 2008 - Nature - 160 pages
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With more than 100 different families and 40,000 individual species, spiders are among the most successful creatures on Earth. Highly adaptable, they live almost everywhere, from equatorial rainforest to Arctic tundra. And they come in a huge range of shapes and sizes, from the tiny Patu digua, measuring less than half a millimeter, to the immense bird-eating tarantula, which can reach a span of eleven inches. In The Private Life of Spiders, spider expert Paul Hillyard takes the reader on a fascinating and richly illustrated tour of the lives of some of the world's most remarkable spiders.

The Private Life of Spiders reveals the intriguing behaviors of these complex creatures, from their extraordinary web-spinning skills and hunting strategies to their courtship displays and devoted care for their young. The book also describes other surprising skills of some spiders, such as the ability to cross vast stretches of open water.

Written in an engaging style, The Private Life of Spiders also looks at why people are scared of spiders, explains why such fear is generally misplaced, and shows why more needs to be done to protect endangered spiders.

  • Features spiders from a vast range of habitats around the world

  • Includes more than 100 stunning color photographs that capture the beauty and diversity of spiders

  • Covers spider anatomy, behavior, reproduction, social organization, and hunting and web construction techniques

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Background to Spiders
Chapter 2
Chapter 3

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About the author (2008)

Paul Hillyard is a leading authority on spiders and a former curator at London's Natural History Museum. His previous books include "Spiders" and "The Book of the Spider: From Arachnophobia to the Love of Spiders.

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