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Life Cycle of a Spider: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:00 Life Cycle of a Spider
  • 0:41 Stage #1: Egg
  • 1:12 Stage #2: Spiderling
  • 2:29 Stage #3: Adult Spider
  • 2:49 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

Like all living things, spiders go through a life cycle. This lesson will teach you about the three stages of a spider's life cycle from egg through adulthood and some neat facts about each stage.

Life Cycle of a Spider

Imagine that you're walking through the trees when suddenly you find yourself tangled in sticky, tickly threads. You brush them off and make sure that you don't have an eight-legged hitchhiker on your head. You've just strolled through a spider web!

Spiders are arachnids, which are animals with eight legs and two body parts. There are about 40,000 known kinds of spiders and they live on every continent on Earth.

Although there are many different kinds of spiders, they all share the same life cycle. A life cycle is the stages and changes a living thing goes through from the time it's born through adulthood.

During their life cycle, spiders go from egg to spiderling to adult.

Stage #1: Egg

In stage one, adult spiders lay their eggs. The egg sack is a special case where female spiders lay their eggs. There may be only one egg or thousands of eggs in that egg sac, depending on the type of spider. Egg sacs act like force fields. They protect a spider's eggs from animals and insects that want to snack on them and other harm.

Some spider moms carry their egg sacs with them or nestle them into safe spaces that they can protect, the way your family cares for you. Other spider moms leave the egg sacs on their own and hope that the eggs survive and hatch.

Stage #2: Spiderling

In stage two, the spiderlings hatch. Then they hang out inside the egg sac until they finish their first molt. Spiders don't have a skeleton like you do. Instead, they have an exoskeleton, a hard outer casing. As the spiderlings grow, their exoskeletons, which don't grow along with them, eventually become too small, the way your shoes become too small as you grow. So they have to molt, or shed the exoskeleton.

Underneath the old exoskeleton is a new, bigger exoskeleton. At first, this new exoskeleton is soft. Eventually, it hardens, protecting the spiderling, which looks like a tiny version of an adult spider. After the first molt, the spiderlings leave the egg sac and huddle together for a short time.

Although you live with your family while you're growing up, spider siblings don't hang out together for very long. Some spiderlings just walk off, while others have more creative ways to travel.

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