Bark spiders spin webs ten times stronger than Kevlar. Jumping spiders are capable of learning, recognizing, and remembering colours. Recluse spiders can tolerate six months of extreme drought and have a toxin-laden bite that can necessitate skin grafts.
Spiders: A Diverse Natural History explores the huge diversity of spider species and their fascinating traits. An introduction outlining the spider's natural history is followed by 110 illustrated profiles spanning the majority of taxonomic spider families. Photographs of species from each family are shown, along with silhouettes of life-size views. Population distribution maps, tables of essential information, and commentaries revealing notable characteristics are included. The spider family profiles are also organized thematically, and the commentaries in each chapter reflect different aspects of a spider's biology.
Norman I. Platnick is Peter J. Solomon Family Curator Emeritus of Spiders at the American Museum of Natural History where he curates the world's largest collection of spiders. A Ph.D recipient from Harvard University, Platnick has described over 1,800 species of spiders, making him the second most prolific arachnologist in history. He originated the World Spider Catalog; a fully accessible database of the 45,000 species, a resource that is unmatched for any other group of organisms. Platnick is recognised as a world leader in spider taxonomy. Expert contributors include: Rudy Jocque, Head of Invertebrates at the Royal Museum for Central Africa, Gustavo Hormiga, Professor of Biology at George Washington University, Robert Raven, Senior Curator at Queensland Museum, and Martin J. Ramirez, CONICET.
"This superbly illustrated guide to the spiders of the world is a bittersweet testament to Norman I. Platnick, following his sudden and unexpected death in April 2020. Norman was the undoubted giant of modem arachnology [...] The stunning images showing the wide variety of lifestyles and beauty of spiders are what make this book stand out, and it provides both a wonderful introduction for someone with a general interest in spiders but also an indispensable volume for the dedicated arachnologist. It is strongly recommended."
– Peter Harvey, Atropos 68, 2021