Untangling spider myths with Matt Nelson

Untangling spider myths with Matt Nelson


My kids when they were young: “Oh my dad’s
takin’ us hunting this weekend!” And they go “What are you hunting for?” “Spiders!” And kids would be like “What?” You know I’ve always, since I was a little kid, I was always a rock turner, you know?
I was always turning rocks, turning old logs, looking for things. One of the cool things about arthropods is they have an exoskeleton, their skeletons are
on the outside of their body. They’re just like little tanks. Spiders are really important for a couple of reasons, one of which is they’re in almost every terrestrial ecosystem. If there are spiders in your home, if they’re there
long term it’s because they’re eating something. You must have insects around.
Maybe what you really want would be to get rid of the insects. I used to have a jumping spider that was in my office and he’d sit there on the windowsill usually,
and when I would walk in he’d turn, and look at me. And you know I’m like two or three
meters away. Really cool to have an arthropod, like, responding to you and following your motion through the room. Most spiders have eight eyes, some are six, some have four, some have two and some have none. Most of them still can’t see very well. There’s a lot of black widows. There aren’t many places in Canada that are
this dry or this warm, there’s a lot of species that are found in the Okanagan
that just aren’t found any place else in Canada. You know I think a lot of times
people are scared of spiders, that’s a learned behavior. Very few people die from black widow bites, that number’s in the single digits,
worldwide per year. Horses are way more dangerous than spiders. Dogs are way more dangerous than spiders.

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