David Attenborough TV - Brian Cox TV - Louise Bourgeois - William Shakespeare - Richard Dawkins TV - Mary Howitt - Alexander Pope - Donna Lynn Hope - Bill Bryson - Leslie Brunetta & Catherine L Craig - Mountain: Life at the Extreme TV - Incredible Spiders TV -
Only spiders and insects have the ability to produce silk. David Attenborough, The Trials of Life VI: Home Making, BBC 1990
This is a whip spider; like its ancestors it has a hard external skeleton. David Attenborough, Life in the Undergrowth I, BBC 2005
Trap-door spider ... This is the most ancient of living spiders. David Attenborough, Life in the Undergrowth III: The Silk Spinners
The biggest and strongest webs are those made by nephila: Golden Orb web spiders of the tropics: they may be several metres across. ibid.
In Australia there is a species of spider that has taken web construction a stage further still: it builds not just in two dimensions but in three. ibid.
A creature that hunts in packs. This enormous web above me contains thousands of spiders ... they can kill prey many times their own size. ibid.
Wonderful shimmering carpets of gossamer ... It’s Autumn in England. ibid.
This tangle of silk is home to one of Australia’s most feared spiders – the highly venomous Red-Back. David Attenborough, Micro Monsters II: Predator, 2013
The deadly Sydney Funnel Web – a spider so poisonous its venom can kill a human in fifteen minutes. Making David Attenborough’s Micro Monsters, Sky 1 2013
This newly discovered arachnid: Darwin’s Bark Spider … the largest web span anywhere on Earth … they can span over 25 metres. Brian Cox, Wonders of Life III: Endless Forms Most Beautiful, BBC 2013
The Spider is an ode to my mother. She was my best friend. Like a spider, my mother was a weaver. My family was in the business of tapestry restoration, and my mother was in charge of the workshop. Like spiders, my mother was very clever. Spiders are friendly presences that eat mosquitoes. We know that mosquitoes spread diseases and are therefore unwanted. So, spiders are helpful and protective, just like my mother. Louise Bourgeois
Weaving spiders come not here;
Hence you long-legged spinners, hence!
Beetles black, approach not near;
Worm nor snail, do no offence. William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream II ii 20
My brain, more busy than the labouring spider. William Shakespeare, The First Part of the Contention II Henry VI III i 339, York
The spider web is I think a wonder of the world. Richard Dawkins, The Spider Web, Seven Wonders of the World, BBC 1997
‘Will you walk into my parlour?’ said a spider to a fly:
’Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy.’ Mary Howitt, The Spider and the Fly, 1834
The spiders’ touch, how exquisitely fine!
Feels at each thread, and lives along the line. Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism, 1711
The spider’s web: She finds an innocuous corner in which to spin her web. The longer the web takes, the more fabulous its construction. She has no need to chase. She sits quietly, her patience a consummate force; she waits for her prey to come to her on their own, and then she ensnares them, injects them with venom, rendering them unable to escape. Spiders – so needed and yet so misunderstood. Donna Lynn Hope
Spiders are anti-social, keep pests under control, and mostly mind their own business, but they somehow summon fear in humans who are far more dangerous, deceitful and have hurt more people. Of the two I’m more suspicious about the latter. Donna Lynn Hope
No one knows, incidentally, why Australia’s spiders are so extravagantly toxic; capturing small insects and injecting them with enough poison to drop a horse would appear to be the most literal case of overkill. Still, it does mean that everyone gives them lots of space. Bill Bryson, In a Sunburned Country
Spiders were around long before humans, and it is likely they will be around in some number far into the future, even if humans are not. When most land and sea animals died out during the Permian mass extinction, spiders survived. Spiders thrived when oxygen levels were both lower and higher than today, when the sunlight hitting the ground was both stronger and weaker, and when plant and animal populations were both greater and smaller. Silk and the evolvable nature of the genes that dictate it have enabled spiders to stake a claim on the land for hundreds of millions of years and they are likely to do so for hundreds of millions of years to come. Leslie Brunetta & Catherine L Craig, Spider Silk, 2010
At 6,700 metres lives in the highest animal in the world – the Himalayan Jumping Spider … He can jump fifty times his body length. Mountain: Life at the Extreme, BBC 2017
In a creepy realm beyond our everyday life eight-legged freaks rule. They thrive in the tropical jungle, the desert wastelands and even under water. Some are carnivorous giants that rise from the earth, others are equipped with an arsenal of weapons. Incredible Spiders, National Geographic 2017
Deep in the Amazon lives a Goliath that overshadows them all – the biggest spider on the face of the planet. ibid.
The Diving-Bell spider is the only arachnid known to live exclusively under water. ibid.
A leg-span of ten centimetres and lives in an underground burrow for most of its life … The Baboon spider has a dark side … ibid.
The Black Widow - she’s equipped with a lethal neuro-toxic venom. ibid.
The Goliath Bird-Eating Tarantula lives in Venezuela’s remote Amazon and is as big as your dinner-plate. ibid.