Spiders and more explored in new Arachnid book

16 October 2009

Scared of spiders? Intrigued by ticks? Whether you love them or hate them, explore the fascinating world of spiders and other arachnids with the Natural History Museum's new book, Arachnids.

Cover of new book Arachnids

Cover of new book Arachnids

Written by Museum arachnid expert, Jan Beccaloni, the book has more than 300 pages with colourful illustrations throughout and guides you through the fascinating world of these creepy crawlies.

Did you know some thoughtful spider species regurgitate food to feed their young? Or that there is a mite that lives in the lungs of monkeys?

Arachnids reveals many more amazing facts from around the world and dispels common myths and misconceptions.

Jan wrote the book for amateur naturalists and arachnid enthusiasts and says, 'I enjoyed writing the book, but it was really hard work, as I did it all in my own time! I hope that it will inspire people about arachnids, and encourage them to learn more.'

A long-legged salticid spider that has eyes with an almost 360 degree vision

A long-legged salticid spider that has eyes with an almost 360 degree vision © George Beccaloni

The scientific class Arachnida includes 11 orders of animals. They are spiders, harvestmen, ticks and mites, wind spiders, tailless whip spiders, whip spiders, scorpions, palpigrades, pseudoscorpions, schizomids and ricinuleids.

Nearly all arachnids have 8 legs and 2 parts to their body. Most are able to regenerate missing limbs or other structures. 

Because they are able to regulate their body temperature, they can live in extremely hot and cold conditions and they are found throughout the world.

Museum collections

The Museum has some of the largest arachnida and myriapoda collections in the world and they are studied by scientists worldwide. They are housed in the Darwin Centre, the first phase of the building completed in 2002, along with millions of other zoology specimens.

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