How are spiders helpful to people and the planet?


Spiders help to keep your home, yard, garden, farm, school, and workplace free from pest insects. Spiders help the whole planet in a similar way, preventing insects from becoming overly dominant and destructive. Spiders are in turn food for other organisms, from other spiders to birds, reptiles, and small mammals like shrews. Spider venoms show promise in the field of medicine. Spider silk is among the strongest, most elastic of natural fibers. Synthesized spider silk has proven useful in creating the next generation of parachutes and bullet-proof vests. Native peoples in Papua New Guinea even use the webs of Nephila orb-weaving spiders as fishing nets. The spider is coaxed into spinning within an oval frame that is then used as a net. Spiders are also used as research subjects in such diverse disciplines as animal physiology and psychology.

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