The fact is, most people are not fans of spiders. But all of that is about to change, thanks to this super cute feature of theirs we didn’t know they possessed.
Kitten paws, baby monkey hands, puppy toe beans- we love them all. And why wouldn’t we? They’re cute as heck!
Well, most people would never guess that spiders, that’s right, those somewhat creepy but cool arachnids, also have adorable little paws. Or at least, tarantulas do.
In more scientific terms, a spider’s paw is called a tarsus, and it’s only one of eight parts that make up a rather complicated leg. Just like cats or dogs, spiders also have claws attached to the paws, but in their case, their legs also have a wide range of jobs to do, not just to work. A spider’s legs also work as ears and their noses, picking up subtle changes in the air to hear and recognize smells, often to find their prey, or even escape predators.
Nearly 600,000 strands of hair make up colourful tufts on each paw. Because there are so many on each appendage, the dense fur helps arachnids to scale vertical objects and even walk on glass. Tarantulas also have small claws protruding from each paw to improve their grip.
There are over 900 tarantula species, and it’s important to remember that no two cute, little paws are the same. Some tarantulas have larger adorable “feet” than others with legs that can span up to 30 cm, which is the average size of your dinner plate. Yes, that’s rather large and would probably incite some well-understood fear, but most spiders are harmless and won’t bother you unless provoked or their space is invaded.
It may surprise you to learn that all arthropods, including insects, arachnids, and crustaceans, possess a tarsus. However, the truth is that most don’t look this adorable up-close.
Just ask Michael Pankratz, who has a very special talent for capturing photos of animal feet. The photographer shoots tarantula feet specifically. Not only can you see their soft, cute paws in his photos but also the tiny, colourful hairs and sharp little claws.
Below, we will share some of our favourite photos of this incredible discovery, spider paws.
Through these macro lenses and their images, we’re able to travel into the world of our minuscule subjects, to go eye-to-eye with them in a direct encounter. True, they’re experienced as larger than life — and yet the reality may be that it’s only in this manner that they’re seen and experienced as they genuinely are.”
It would be hard to be afraid of these little guys if we just remembered how cute their little paws are, at all times.
All animals deserve love, including arachnids- spiders specifically. So next time you see one, be kind to it and who knows, maybe you’ll make a new friend.