What do Spiders Eat? - Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:03 Eating Habits of Spiders
  • 1:05 Weaving Their Webs
  • 1:59 Making Their Meals
  • 2:29 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Elizabeth Hance

Elizabeth has taught elementary and middle school special education, and has a master's degree in reading education.

Spiders are very interesting creatures that have developed amazing ways of hunting and catching their food. In this lesson, you'll learn what spiders eat and how they catch and eat their food.

Eating Habits of Spiders

You are probably used to eating three meals a day, and you may even have an afternoon snack. Imagine that, instead of going to the grocery store to get food, you laid very still on a big web waiting for some food to come by. That's how many spiders catch their food, and sometimes they have to wait for days before they catch their favorite food: insects.

Spiders are cold-blooded, which means their body temperature changes with the weather. When it's cold and insects are hard to come by, they can save energy by staying very still. Humans, on the other hand, are warm-blooded. Our body temperature stays about the same no matter the weather, and we need to eat daily to keep up our energy.

In addition to eating insects such as ants, flies, mosquitoes, and bees, some spiders will also eat very small animals like birds, frogs, lizards, and centipedes. Many will also eat other spiders! But, spiders can be picky eaters. They only eat animals that are alive or that they have recently killed, and they typically do not eat plant material. Since they only eat meat, they are called carnivores.

Weaving Their Webs

If you've ever been surprised by something sticky and stringy on your face or hands, you may have walked through a spider web. While you can wipe the strings away, insects that fly or walk into those webs are not usually so lucky. Spiders weave webs made of silk, a very thin and smooth fiber that spiders can make. Webs are usually very hard to see, which is perfect for catching unsuspecting insects.

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