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SPIDERS.   61

 

and somewhat beneath, are the spinnerets ; there are three pairs. The webbing or silk issues from the body through these holes and becomes joined in one thread afterwards. It is often asked, how spiders string their single lines from tree-top to tree-top, across roads or from building to building? Having crawled up to a desirable elevation, they start the thread either by a muscular effort or by sticking the end to a limb or board, and then " pay " it out by using the hinder feet to pull it out of the body. The slight wind will do the rest, drifting it upon some holding-ground where it ties itself. Small spiders in great numbers are carried through the air at the end of long web-lines.

In South America a web is made by a large spider, in which small birds are caught and held fast ; the owner greedily feeds on them. To tell of all their curious and often wonderful nests and traps would be a long story, but an interesting and instructive one. As a rule, spiders trail their webs along, to be ready for any emergency. With a sudden breath you may blow one of them from his position to give him a fall, but it will be found that he is dangling at the end of a thread. On the water they are generally very much at home, and our


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