Reformatted, redesigned edition of a popular title first published in 2007. Spiders: hairy, scary monstrosities, or just another animal trying to make a living? With over 100 different families and 40,000 individual species, spiders are among the most successful creatures on the planet. They live almost everywhere, from the Arctic tundra to equatorial rainforest, and come in a diverse range of shapes and sizes, from the tiny Patu digua measuring less than half a millmetre to the immense chicken-eating spider, which can reach a span of 28 cms (11 inches)! Many species of spider live in close promixity to man, which partly explains the ambivalence - or even fear - that many people feel for them.
This book looks at arachnids in a new way, shedding light on the fascinating lives of these complex and highly adaptable creatures. Illustrated throughout with stunning photographs, author Paul Hillyard lifts the lid on the complex world of spiders, from their hunting strategies and amazing web-spinning skills to their extraordinary courtship displays and devoted care for their young. Written in an engaging, educational and thought-provoking style, the book also explains why people are scared of spiders, why such fear is generally misplaced, and why we should be doing more to look after endangered spider species.
Paul Hillyard is a leading authority on spiders and a former curator at the Natural History Museum in London. Intrigued by spiders since childhood, he has travelled extensively across the world in search of them. His previous books include Spiders (Collins) and The Book of the Spider: From Arachnophobia to the Love of Spiders (Hutchinson).