My husband likes to put freaky photos on his desktop to gross the kids out. His favorites are cow-patties, flies, and close-ups of really MEAN looking spiders. The kids enjoy this – even though they usually say, “EEEEEEwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! Groooooossssss!”
Here’s one of his latest favorites:
Even scarier than the spider is the fact that my kids know more about it than I do.
Here’s the conversation they had when Daddy put the photo up:
“Those spiders have eyes all over the place.” – Daddy
“Yeah, it’s amazing that we can catch them at all.” – ME
“They don’t see very accurately, but their sense of feeling and motion is quite acute.” – Son
I mean, really… what nine year old uses the word ACCURATELY and ACUTE in regular conversations with his parents (and in the same sentence)? After we were able to stuff our tongues back in our mouths and both shoot each other an equally awed glance (husband and I), we continued the conversation.
“What are those two things on the front? They look like furry teeth?” – Daddy
I guess he figured he would test to see if Mr. Know-It-All really knew what he was talking about.
“Those are his biters and the orange things on the side are his venom sacks. The two things on the front are his feelers, even though they look like legs.” – Son
I grinned at Kevin who was looking at me incredulously as if he didn’t believe how much Kaden knew about bugs (pardon me, arachnids).
His father and I both knowing that most of his bug knowledge is from reading bug encyclopedia books (which he loves); I just smiled and winked and said, “I homeschool him!” Oh, well – I can TRY to take credit for it.
After doing a little studying, here’s what I did learn about wolf spiders (seems Kaden was being a little too general about the eyes part… since Wolf Spiders are active prey hunters and can see relatively well – although they also rely on other sensors, too). I’ll still give him an A+ for effort. It certainly blew me away!
Most wolf spiders have stout bodies and long, thick legs. Their bodies are low to the ground even when walking or running, giving them the appearance of continually being on the prowl. Wolf spider species are similar in general form, but their bodies vary greatly in size, ranging from 2 mm (0.08 in) to nearly 40 mm (1.6 in) in length. They typically have two very large, forward-looking eyes in the middle of their face, flanked by two large upward-looking eyes, and a row of four smaller eyes below. Wolf spiders generally locate their prey by sight, but may also use touch to determine the nature of the prey. They use their front legs to grab prey, then bite and crush it with powerful jawlike mouth parts called chelicerae.