Wolf Spider Facts and Population Changes in the Warming Arctic

Updated on June 29, 2020
AliciaC profile image

Linda Crampton is a writer and teacher with an honors degree in biology. She loves to study nature and write about living things.

A female wolf spider (Pardosa lugubris)
A female wolf spider (Pardosa lugubris) | Source

Wolf Spiders and Two Arctic Species

Wolf spiders are impressive hunters with good eyesight. The vast majority don’t create webs. Instead, they either hide and lunge for their prey as it passes by or chase the prey and grab it. The latter behaviour gave them their name. The animals are capable of moving fast. They are venomous, but the venom generally doesn't have a serious effect on humans. The spiders are widespread and found in most parts of the world.

Multiple species of wolf spiders live in the Arctic. Researchers have discovered that the increasing temperature there is having an effect on at least two of the species. One group of scientists has discovered that Pardosa glacialis is currently reproducing twice in the summer instead of once. Another group has found population and chemical changes in Pardosa lapponica. The changes suggest that cannibalism in the species has significantly increased.

Six of a wolf spider's eight eyes are shown in this photo of a member of the Hogna genus. The other two eyes are on top of the head.and are slightly visible in the photo.
Six of a wolf spider's eight eyes are shown in this photo of a member of the Hogna genus. The other two eyes are on top of the head.and are slightly visible in the photo. | Source

Wolf Spider Classification

Spiders belong to the phylum Arthropoda and the class Arachnida. Wolf spiders belong to the family Lycosidae within the class Arachnida. The family contains over 2,000 species and perhaps over 3,000. The number varies according to the source of the data.

Physical Features of the Arachnid

Spiders have different features from insects. Both animals belong to the phylum Arthropoda, but spiders are classified in the class Arachnida instead of the class Insecta. Members of the class Arachnida are sometimes referred to as arachnids. The class also includes scorpions, ticks, mites, and other animals.

Body Parts

A wolf spider may be brown, tan, orange, grey, or black. Some species are mainly one colour while others bear stripes or other markings of another colour. The body is hairy and consists of two sections: the cephalothorax and the abdomen. The sections are joined by a short stalk, which is usually obscured when a spider is seen. The cephalothorax has a humped appearance, as can be seen in a side view of the spider. It resembles a roof attached to slanting walls. Spinnerets at the end of the abdomen release silk.

Appendages

The animal has eight legs arranged in four pairs. It also has a pair of chelicerae, or jaws, in the front of its mouth. An appendage known as a pedipalp can be seen on each side of the chelicerae. The pedipalps are sensory structures used for smell and taste. They are also used by the male to insert sperm into a receptacle in the female's body.

Sense Organs

The spider has eight eyes. The two largest ones are located at the front of the head. Four small ones lie underneath the large ones. The other two eyes are located on the top of the head and are widely separated. The spider's vision is described below.

The animals don't have ears, but various parts of their body have sense organs that can detect vibrations. Some of the hairs on the body of the arachnids are sensitive to vibration and touch.

Wolf Spider Vision

A wolf spider's eyes have a lens, which focuses light rays on the retina. The retina is stimulated by the light rays. Some of the eyes have a tapetum lucidum behind the retina. The tapetum reflects light that has passed through the retina back to it, giving the light-sensitive cells another chance to be stimulated. This process improves night vision. Wolf spiders are often active at night and rest during the day. The tapetum produces a glowing appearance when light strikes it, a phenomenon known as eyeshine.

Although the eyes of wolf spiders have similar parts to ours, the eyes aren't as well developed as human ones and the arachnids can't see as well as us. They are said to have good vision compared to many other spiders, however. Experiments have shown that they can see green and ultraviolet light but no other colours.

A female Pardosa saltans carrying eggs
A female Pardosa saltans carrying eggs | Source

Daily Life in the Family Lycosidae

Summer

Almost all wolf spiders live in burrows and don't produce webs. It's not correct to say that none of them make webs, however. One of the references below mentions two wolf spider species in Uruguay that do build webs. The silk released from the end of a spider's abdomen is used for additional purposes. It's used to attach the female's eggs to her body, for example.

Outside of the Arctic, wolf spiders are found in leaf litter in forests, in grasslands, and by ponds and streams. Like their relatives, they are carnivores. They actively hunt for small animals, including insects, small invertebrates such as springtails, and other spiders. Sometimes they wait for their prey to come to them and then pounce on the unsuspecting animal. Wolf spiders are in turn prey for larger animals.

Winter

Spiders often hide and become dormant during winter as the temperature drops. In this condition, they can survive without food for a long time. Some find an area under snow that is warm enough for limited activity.

Some species of spiders are able to survive during a cold winter by producing chemicals that act as an antifreeze. This prevents their cells from freezing. Researchers suspect that some spiders have more adaptations for winter survival that just antifreeze chemicals, however, because these animals survive at very low temperatures.

I haven't seen any scientific reports specifically describing how Arctic wolf spiders survive the winter, but it may well be by the same method as other spiders adapted for freezing winter temperatures.

Reproduction in Wolf Spiders

Both of the Arctic wolf spiders mentioned below belong to the Pardosa genus. In the video above, a male Pardosa amentata is "dancing" to attract a female. The male raises and then vibrates his pedipalps and front legs to attract the female's attention. The female may allow him to mate after this display. A male's pedipalps are bigger than a female's.

At first, the collection of eggs looks like a large ball and is attached to the female's spinnerets, as shown in the photo above. When the youngsters hatch, they climb onto their mother's back, or the top of the cephalothorax.

Be Careful!

Wolf spiders are not considered to be dangerous to humans. There are some important points to consider with respect to safety, however, as described below.

Wolf Spider Bites and Venom

Wolf spiders are not aggressive, but they will bite if they are threatened. They shouldn't be handled. The bite and the venom aren't considered to be a serious problem for humans, but there are exceptions. If someone is allergic to the venom, the results may be serious and the person may require medical help. In addition, a bite causing major pain shouldn't be ignored because it's believed to have come from a wolf spider. The spider that bit the person may have been misidentified and may be one that causes more serious problems than a wolf spider.

Even if a specific species of spider is not considered to be dangerous for humans, a bite area should be cleaned, bandaged, and treated like any other wound. If the wound is large or painful, if an infection or further symptoms develop, or if a person has any concerns about the wound, medical aid should be sought.

Arctic Climate Change

The Arctic is currently warming at a faster rate than the average for the rest of the Earth. The reasons for the phenomenon are beyond the scope of this article. The National Snow and Ice Data Center reference below provides an explanation for the situation.

Pardosa glacialis Reproduction in the Arctic

A group of scientists has been studying wolf spiders living around Zackenberg in Greenland. The scientists have observed that in the last two decades snowmelt in the area has occurred "progressively earlier" and temperature has increased.

The scientists investigated Pardosa glacialis, a common wolf spider in the Arctic. Researchers knew that outside of the Arctic the female of the species often produces two egg clutches per year. Now females are producing two clutches in the Arctic instead of the single one that they used to produce.

Some of the female Pardosa glacialis spiders in the Zackenberg area have been collected in pitfall traps since 1996, enabling changes over time to be recognized. The scientists have discovered the following facts.

  • In years when the snow melts earlier, the females lay their first clutch earlier and the proportion of females that produce a second clutch before the season ends is larger.
  • Larger females tend to produce larger first clutches.
  • The size of the female doesn't affect the size of her second clutch.

Assuming the extra babies produced as the climate warms survive, the increased spider population could have an important effect on the Arctic ecosystem. Arctic spiders feed on small animals known as springtails. The springtails feed on fungus. The food chain and the environment might be affected by an increased number of spiders.

Map of the Arctic (within the circle)
Map of the Arctic (within the circle) | Source

Arctic temperatures are currently rising at twice the global average and climate projections indicate that the Arctic will continue to warm at a higher rate than the rest of the globe, which will lead to longer growing seasons

— Toke T. Høye et al, The Royal Society Publishing

Changes in the Pardosa lapponica Population

Other scientists have also been studying the effects of increased temperature on wolf spiders. In addition, they have investigated the fate of the young spiders born in a warming climate. The species explored in the research was different from the one in the Greenland research, however, and the research was done in Alaska, not Greenland.

The researchers investigated wild and captive spiders in the Pardosa lapponica species. They found that as the females became bigger and produced more offspring, cannibalism apparently increased. This may have been due to increased competition for food in the group. The discoveries are summarized below.

  • Wolf spiders tend to become larger as the climate warms.
  • Larger females produce more offspring (or at least, more eggs).
  • Unexpectedly, the researchers found that when the females in a wild group were larger and more eggs were produced, fewer juveniles existed than would be expected.
  • The researchers performed a chemical analysis to detect specific components in the bodies of spiders in the wild group described above and in experimental high-density groups and lower-density ones. The results suggested that when many spiders were present in a group, the animals were more likely to eat other spiders.
  • Wolf spiders that ate only other wolf spiders didn't live as long as those that ate a wider variety of food.

As in the previous research, the results are interesting and suggest that certain consequences will follow based on the observations that were made. It's unknown whether these consequences will actually happen, however.

The Future of Life in the Arctic

The results of the studies described above show that a warmer climate may have several effects on Arctic wolf spiders. Understanding the population dynamics of the animals in their natural habitat as the climate changes may not be as easy as imagined. At the moment, some speculation is involved in predicting the effects of changes in the spider population. The topic is important because the animals influence other life forms in their ecosystem as well as the non-living part of the environment.

The increasing temperatures in the Arctic are worrying for multiple reasons. It's important to understand the effects of the changing conditions on the organisms that live there and on the Arctic habitat.

References

  • Wolf spider entry from the Encyclopedia Britannica
  • Information about wolf spiders from the Missouri Department of Conservation
  • More information about the spiders from PennState Extension
  • Wolf spider vision from the ScienceDaily news service
  • Silks in web-building wolf spiders from The Science Breaker (a partner of the University of Geneva)
  • Spiders in winter from the Burke Museum
  • Climate change and Arctic amplification from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC)
  • Earlier springs enable Arctic wolf spiders to produce a second clutch from The Royal Society Publishing
  • Wolf spiders may be turning to cannibalism in the Arctic from the phys.org news service

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Linda Crampton

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    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      3 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Mel. I like spiders, too. I agree that some of them may give us important information about the changing environment. The discoveries could be very interesting.

      The multiple eyes of spiders and their different locations have some benefits. They can enable the animals to detect movement around them without the necessity of moving their body to do this, for example. I hope researchers learn more about spider vision soon.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      3 weeks ago from San Diego California

      I see you have been very busy here on Hub Pages. Unlike most people, I am a fan of spiders, even though I sometimes walk through their webs in the course of my duties. Wolf spiders seem more my speed, since they don't generally create any of these annoying, sticky webs.

      These little buggers are going to teach us a few disturbing things about our changing environment. Remarkable animal, with remarkable ability to adapt to diverse climates. My only question is - what is the use of all those eyes when you can only see two colors with them.

      Great article.

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      3 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the comment and the interesting comparison with Aragog, Peg. I've never thought of that before.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      3 weeks ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Such interesting creatures. I've seen my share of these wolf spiders around my front porch including some that have large egg clutches. They're scary but not too aggressive. Love the photos with the eyes. It reminds me of that Harry Potter spider, Aragog, friend of Hagrid.

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      4 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you, Cynthia. The ability to survive in winter is impressive!

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 

      4 weeks ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Fascinating hub Linda, I could do with some of that anti-freeze in the winter! Spiders are interesting creatures and I never thought of them living in the Arctic before.

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      4 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, Genna.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      4 weeks ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Linda. Spiders have always given me the willies. But I now have a slightly different perspective thanks to your interesting article. So well written.

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      4 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Miebakagh. I just checked the link. It works fine.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      4 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Linda, the link you sent does it work? Check it. Thanks.

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      4 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I doubt whether the many scientists studying the situation are confused. There is some uncertainty about the extent of the effects of the melting ice in the future, but there isn’t uncertainly about the fact that effects have already occurred.

      The NASA article in the link below is entitled “Greenland’s Rapid Melt Will Mean More Flooding”. It’s worth reading. It mentions that melting ice in the Arctic has already caused a rising sea level and more flooding. The projections for how much the sea level will rise in the future are difficult. Climatology is a complex science. That doesn’t mean that we should ignore what the scientists have to say.

      https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/greenlands-rapid-...

      There is no basis for saying that animals will adapt to changing conditions in the Arctic or that only a few species have been affected so far unless you’ve contacted all of the biologists that study the many animals that live in the Arctic, visit it in summer, or depend indirectly on conditions there.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      4 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Linda, the polar melting into water seems to confuse certain persons. Will the occean and seas over flow? Hardly the case. Just certain few animals were affect. I am sure others will adapt to the new condition.

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      4 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Denise. I agree. We may indeed be heading for serious problems. It's a worrying situation.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      4 weeks ago from Fresno CA

      If only we could get the global warming condition under control but too many people don't believe there is a problem or that it needs to be fixed. I foresee serious problems for the animal kingdom and ours.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks, Devika. I appreciate your visit and comment.

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, Chitrangada. Spider eyes are certainly impressive, especially in a close-up photo.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Linda the Wolf Spider is interesting in its habits. I always find your hubs interesting and informative. Well-researched and to the point. Attractive and a lot of work put into it.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      5 weeks ago from New Delhi, India

      Amazing information shared by you about the Wolf spider. I haven’t seen the spiders so closely. Those pictures are great. Didn’t know they had so many eyes. Thank you for sharing such interesting facts and the other detailed information.

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I agree, Miebakagh!

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      5 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      That's fun!

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      What a lovely story! I like the idea of giving house spiders names, though I can understand why some people might not like having the animals as guests. Thanks for the comment and for sharing the information, Blossom.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      5 weeks ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thank you for such an informative article. I'm afraid I'm not a fan of spiders at all, but I do find them interesting - from a distance! When I was young my Grandmother had two huntsman spiders in her house. She called them Jack and Jill and when we visited I looked very carefully to find where they were before I sat down!

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Adrienne. Spiders have some unusual features. I enjoy observing them.

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Dora. Thanks for the visit. Wolf spiders do enter homes at times, but they are more likely to be found in a basement or a garage than a bedroom.

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Millicent. Wolf spiders do have venom glands, like most other spiders, but experts say they are unlikely to hurt us. The exception would be if someone is allergic to the venom. The spiders have some interesting features. I'm impressed by their eight eyes, too!

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      5 weeks ago

      Although creepy looking, spiders are quite fascinating! Wolf spiders are new to me, so it was interesting learning more about them. I didn't know spiders can stay so long without eating and can produce a special substance that makes them survive cold temperatures.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      5 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      These wolf spiders are fascinating, with their eight eyes, sound vibrations, unique habits and more. I woke up one Thanksgiving morning with a swollen leg, no idea what caused it, until the emergency room said it was a spider bite. Would a wolf spider be in my bedroom? Probably, not one of these. Thanks for another interesting article.

    • Millicent Akinyi Okello profile image

      Millicent Okello 

      5 weeks ago from Nairobi

      Wolf spiders look scary and poisonous too. I have gained so much from the spiders. I didn't know they have eight eyes .wow!

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Bill. Yes, eight legs and eight eyes make an interesting combination! Thanks for commenting.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      5 weeks ago from Massachusetts

      Very interesting, Linda. One has to certainly appreciate a creature with eight legs and eyes. How unique! I was not familiar with the Wolf Spider so I learned something new today. Thank you.

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Yes, we are all related.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      5 weeks ago from london

      Chuckle. Glad you do, Linda.

      They are God's after all.

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the visit and the comment, Manatita. I know that spiders have features that many people consider unattractive. I like the animals, though.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      5 weeks ago from london

      Eight eyes and eight legs. Scary! Very ugly looking creatures, sorry. No wonder some humans are afraid of them.

      I see that global warming affects us all. Actually, I have a friend who wrote a book on the eco system. I believe you must be in the same field. I call him Durjaya. He is Professor ... something.

      Another super article on spiders or rather wolf spiders and their way of life. The dance to mate is pretty interesting to see.

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      No, Miebakagh, wolf spiders are not very dangerous, as the reliable references at the end of this article say, unless a person is allergic to the venom. I think you might be confused about terminology.

      Huntsman spiders are different animals from wolf spiders and belong to a different biological family. (I've never heard of hunter spiders.) Huntsman spiders belong to the family Sparassidae while wolf spiders belong to the family Lycosidae.

      Perhaps where you live there is a dangerous species that is locally known as a wolf or hunter spider and that belongs to a different family. Common names can be confusing.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      5 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Hi all, if I became aware of a spider around my environment, I would not hesitatd to go for a kill. Wolf or hunter spiders are very dangerous animals.

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Peggy. I think that wolf spiders are fascinating animals, too. The situation in the Arctic is of great concern.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      It is fascinating that wolf spiders, for the most part, do not construct webs and preferably live in burrows or leaf litter. It is concerning that the arctic is warming so fast and affecting so many species, including these spiders.

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the comment, Pamela. Spiders have some intriguing features. It's interesting to discover people's opinions about the animals. They seem to provoke strong reactions!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      5 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      I don't think I have ever seen such a close up picture of a spider and I thought it was interesting. I also never thought about spiders having smell and taste. This was a very interesting article.

      I wish the Artic wasn't melting as it surely affects everything, like the spiders having young twice in the summer. I would not like to be too close to any spider but I enjoyed learning about them, Linda.

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks, Mary. I think the situation in the Arctic is interesting and worrying at the same time.

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Liz. I think the phrase "the mind boggles" is very appropriate for the current situation. Thanks for the visit.

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Liza. I like the second photo, too. Spider eyes are impressive!

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Bill. I would be on my hands and knees studying the spider, too! I enjoying looking at the ones that I see on my walks.

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks, Eric. I appreciate your visit and comment.

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Ann. I appreciate your comment. It's a shame that the Earth is experiencing so many problems. I hope the two that you mention are solved soon. They are worrying.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      5 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

      Linda, this is interesting because you have very well described these spiders but also the Arctic as their environment and how the changes in the climate affect this specie. I have no recognition of the different species of spiders, so this is new knowledge to me.

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Manuela. A large spider could be intimidating! I enjoying observing the small ones, though.

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, Fran. I know that some people don't like spiders, but I think they are interesting animals.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      5 weeks ago from UK

      This gives a fascinating insight into how climate change is affecting this type of spider. It makes me wonder how many other species are being affected by the increasing temperatures. The mind boggles at the knock on effect within the ecosystem.

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, Miebakagh. I appreciate your comment.

    • lizmalay profile image

      Liza 

      5 weeks ago from USA

      Spiders are fascinating creatures. Most of the people I know, they are not a fan of spiders. I never heard or seen wolf spiders in Malaysia. Reading the article has given me more knowledge about wolf spiders and their species. I like the second photo because I can see their visible eyes. Thank you for sharing the intriguing article, Linda.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Fascinating information, Linda! Bev would freak if she saw one of these little darlings in our house. The dogs would freak. Me, I would be on my hands and knees studying it. Different strokes for different folks, eh?

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      5 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      So interesting. I think this will be fun to read with my son. Thank you.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      5 weeks ago from SW England

      What a fascinating spider. I never considered that there might be spiders that don't construct webs.

      Nor did I realise that the warming of the Arctic was twice the global average - that's scary! We have much to deal with and maybe the current virus will wake up some who think we can just continue as normal. Sadly, many seem to be going about their 'normal' lives without thinking about others' safety and I think those people have the same attitude to the environment and changing their lifestyle to make a difference.

      I enjoyed reading this and learnt a lot, Linda. Thank you.

      Ann

    • Nela13 profile image

      Manuela 

      5 weeks ago from Portugal

      I am not a fan of spiders at all, I hope they stop becoming larger with the weather changes otherwise they will be even more frightening!

    • powers41 profile image

      fran rooks 

      5 weeks ago from Toledo, Ohio

      I always find your articles fascinating and informative. Although I do not like spiders, I also know each creature deserves respect. Again, climate warming has a far-reaching effect on everything. Great article.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      5 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Linda, this is an excellent update of the spider upon the melting. Arctic. Your precautional warning not to ignored a non-poisonous spide's sting is welcomed. The article interested and captivated me to the end. Thanks for sharing.

    • AliciaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      That's a good question, Flourish. Only the abstract of the original paper is available without payment, and that doesn't mention that spiders were eating their relatives.

      I think spiders are interesting animals, even though they're much smaller and perhaps less imposing than polar bears.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      5 weeks ago from USA

      I was wondering whether the cannibalism included parents eating their young, siblings eating each other or is it just a free for all for survival? The thought of researchers going to the arctic to study not polar bears (such a noble creature) but instead these tiny wolf spiders struck me as a little ironic. Some grad student’s parents must be kinda shaking their heads a little.

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