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Spiders

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Dan Lovejoy

on 15 March 2014

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Transcript of Spiders

Spiders...
The Only Good Spider, Is A Live Spider?
At a young age, most people are conditioned to fear spiders, squash them, and spray them; to rid them from their houses, and even their yards. Even most grownups believe that any spider is good as dead. Why is this so? There are only a few known spiders with the reputation of actually causing any harm to humans, such as hobo spiders, black widows, and the brown recluse. If parents and teachers were to teach children the benefits of having spiders in the environment, facts about their physiology and habits, spiders may actually get the respect they deserve.
Bruce Haack
In the 60's, musician, composer, and inventor, Bruce Haack created fun and educational electronic music for children. Known as a pioneer and inspiration of modern electronic music, Haack built his own instruments out of found gadgets, guitar effects pedals, and battery powered transistor radios. With the emergence of psychedelic rock n' roll, so did the public's interest in electronic instruments. Haack made guest appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, I've Got a Secret, and on Mister Roger's Neighborhood. Bruce Haack found an outlet for his creativity as an accompanist for the children's dance teacher Esther Nelson. He collaborated with Praxiteles Pandel, and developed their own record label Dimension 5 Records. Bruce Haack created several albums for children that included activity and story songs similar to other children's records at the time.
In 1969, Bruce Haack in collaboration with several musicians and artists, including Esther Nelson created the album, The Electronic Record For Children. This record follows the theme of flying around the earth in a spaceship along with Esther and Bruce, featuring in-between song dialogue and activity and story songs. Imaginative, clever, and fun, Bruce Haack's music is enjoyed by children and grownups alike.
Track 11, Spiders, is a simple lesson about spider physiology, their eating habits, and biology. The track starts with some dialogue from Bruce, "As we fly, I've been thinking about how many interesting forms of life there are on earth. Take spiders for instance, they're not really insects they're more or less...", and then the song begins. The lyrics go as follows:

Spiders are insect cousins,
and there are spiders by the hundreds of dozens.
They lay many eggs, raise many kids, and their scientific name is Arachnids.
Some spiders weave webs like silk, which they get from a part of their body called a spinneret.
They squeeze some liquid through holes so tiny,
that a strand like silk comes out strong and shiny.
Now the spider spins a web, pretty tricky,
for the web is pretty, and the web is sticky.
A fly flies into it, stuck, can't turn back!
So the spider enjoys a tasty snack.
Spiders are big, and spiders are small, but they never seem to grow very tall.
They use the silk, they spin in strings, for covering their babies and other things.
One spider I saw, was very cute, he was using his silk as a parachute.
Spiders are insect cousins,
and there are spiders by the hundreds of dozens.
They lay many eggs, raise many kids, and their scientific name is Arachnids.
More About Spiders
Haack's lyrics give a very general lesson on spiders, and reads almost like a children's book. I will expound more upon his lyrics, for the sake of making it more relevant to this assignment. Spiders are like cousins to insects, in that they are both of the same phylum, Arthropoda, but they come from different classes. Spiders are of the class, Arachnida, and insects, Insecta. There are at least 43,678 known spider species in the world. Some spiders can lay up to 1,500 eggs and as little as 10. Like insects, spiders have exoskeletons made of chitin and proteins, segmented bodies, and jointed legs. Unlike insects, there are no spiders with wings or antennae; spiders have eight legs instead of six, and their bodies are divided into two parts, the cephalothorax and abdomen.
There are several insects that can spin webs like spiders, such as silkworms, and embioptera, also known as "web spinners". Spiders more specifically use their webs to catch prey, or to wrap egg sacs they either hang in their webs, or like the female wolf spider, carry around with them on their abdomen. Tarantulas can also produce silk from their feet.
In the song, Bruce tells a short story about seeing a spider using it's silk as a parachute. This behavior is called ballooning, or kiting. Ballooning is usually done by small baby spiders, but some adult spiders do it too. They do this to migrate, and disperse themselves. They can travel more than 900 miles, and have been detected by atmospheric data balloons, 16000 ft. above sea level! Baby spiders can also survive up to 25 days without food, getting caught in jet stream currents. Some insects spread by ballooning too, such as the caterpillars of the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar.
Viva La Spiders!
How adults influence their children's views on spiders, will greatly affect how their children treat spiders when they grow up. We can teach them about the spider's important role in the ecosystem around the house, in agriculture, and in the wild. If it wasn't for spiders, the insects that we don't like would take over the world by eating our crops, forests, and spreading disease. Yet, in conventional agriculture, farmers still use broad spectrum pesticides that kill both pests and beneficial animals. Homeowners even spray and squash spiders, even though spiders help keep mosquitoes away from their front porch, flies and moths from entering their home, and caterpillars off their vegetables. With more songs like Spiders by Bruce Haack, children's books about spiders, and education, spiders can take back their reputation, and get the respect they deserve.

Are insect cousins
Bruce Haack
Electronic Music Pioneer, Song Writer of Spiders
Sources:
Hormiga, G. (2002). "Orsonwells, a new genus of giant linyphild spiders (Araneae) from the Hawaiian Islands". Invertebrate Systamatics 16 (3): 369–448.
VanDyk, J.K. (2002-2009). "Entomology 201 - Introduction to insects". Department of Entomology, Iowa State University.
Valerio, C.E. (1977). "Population structure in the spider Achaearranea Tepidariorum (Aranae, Theridiidae)". The Journal of Arachnology (3): 185–190.
Sociable spiders: Come into my parlour. Economist, January 26, 2013
Ruppert, Fox, Barnes, Robert D (2004). Invertebrate Zoology: A Functional Evolutionary Approach (7): 554-555.
Bruce Haack: Musician-Composer-Inventor. www.brucehaack.com. The Estate Of Bruce Haack, 2004.Web. 06 March, 2014.
Phares, Heather. "Bruce Haack". AllMusic. All Media Network, LCC., 2014. Web. 14 March, 2014.
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