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  • In my animal misconceptions video I casually mentioned that daddy long legs aren’t spiders

  • and received a ton of comments asking for clarification or suggesting that it’s not

  • that simple, so I feel the need to clear things up a bit, but first, a disclaimer:

  • If images of spiders make you uncomfortable, 1) you shouldn’t have clicked on this video

  • and 2) you should stop watching, right, about now.

  • Cutest, spider ever. Right?

  • When editing the video, I decided to cut out a daddy-longleg discussion, and now youll

  • see why.

  • To answer the questionare daddy longlegs spiders?’ we first need to know, what are

  • spiders? And for that we need the biological classification system you should have learned

  • in high school.

  • Spiders are in the animal kingdomwhich is a pretty broad class of life and not helpful

  • in narrowing things down. The phylum that concerns us are the arthropods which are a

  • subset of animals with external skeletons, segmented bodies, and jointed limbs.

  • The arthropods with exactly eight legs and two body segments are in a class called arachnids

  • where the name arachnophobia comes fromand while often used to mean fear of spiders,

  • there are plenty of arachnids that are not spiders, such as scorpions and mites.

  • The true spiders, are a subset of Arachnids in the order Araneae. What defines these as

  • spider are their fangs and the poison glands within them, their numerous eyes and their

  • spinnerets that allow them to make webs.

  • Now that we have a spider checklist on to the second problem: the namedaddy longlegs

  • means different things in different places.

  • In Australia this cellar spider is called a daddy longlegswhich as an eight-legged,

  • multi-eyed, web-spinning member of Araniee makes it an official spider. It also produces

  • venom, but then so does everything in that bloody country.

  • Where I grew up this is a daddy longlegs (sometimes called a harvestman).

  • They have just two, soulless eyes, can’t web sling and lack fangs and poison glands

  • and so fail the spider checklist and are in a different order called Opiliones.

  • It was these I had it mind while making the video.

  • To make things more complicated, in my adoptive UK the british call this Crane Fly daddy long

  • legs. Unlike the closely related Opiliones and Araniee the Crane Fly isn’t an arachnid

  • but an insect, the class of arthropods with six legs and three body segments.

  • And, as if the name wasn’t ambiguous enough at this point, there is also a plant called

  • daddy long legs.

  • For taxonomical completeness the plant is over here a different kingdom. But, because

  • of the way life works even this plant is distantly related to those other daddy longlegs because

  • plants and animals are both eukaryotes which means that their cells have complex structures,

  • most notably a nucleus.

  • So, to fully the first question: there are four daddy long legs, three animals, two arachnids,

  • but only one spider among them.

In my animal misconceptions video I casually mentioned that daddy long legs aren’t spiders

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B1 daddy spider plant subset crane checklist

Are Daddy Longlegs Spiders? (Re: 8 Animal Misconceptions Rundown)

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    Anbe2623 posted on 2013/08/25
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