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Look, spiders are actually kind of cute, and that’s a fact.

By Mélissa Plante

© Photo Eataru Photographer / Shutterstock

People often see spiders as terrifying, harmful, and dangerous. The vast majority of spider species, however, do not pose a danger to humans. They are, in fact, quite useful! Why not gain a better understanding of these charming eight-legged creatures by learning more about them?

Spiders for all tastes

© Photo Jurgen Otto / Solent News / Shutterstock

Our planet is home to more than 45,000 species of spiders. They come in all shapes and sizes, are found everywhere, and live in all types of habitats.

One of these species, the peacock spider, is found primarily in Australia, but also in semi-arid and temperate regions of China.

The peacock spider gets its common name from a multi-colored fan, similar to a peacock’s, that covers the males’ similarly embellished bodies. Peacock spiders can be red, blue, orange, white, or cream. In contrast, females are simply brown.

© Photo Jurgen Otto / Solent News / Shutterstock

There are currently about 20 known species of peacock spider. Those who specialize in this small creature say that more are sure to be identified, providing yet further proof that our mysterious spider friends still have a lot to teach us!

The best way to differentiate between types of peacock spider is to observe the design and coloration of the male’s fan. Leg ornamentation and colors in the head region can also help identify species. The easiest way, though, is to observe the males’ nuptial dance as each species seems to have its own choreography.

© Photo Jurgen Otto / Solent News / Shutterstock

Male peacock spiders owe their vibrant and flamboyant coloring to rather complex biological processes. Fortunately, the females can distinguish between these colors quite well.

© Photo Javier Ruperez / Solent News / Shutterstock

It’s impossible to count all the spiders in the world. That said, studies have determined that there may be 840 spiders per square meter of rural territory and 140 spiders per square meter in urban areas. Extrapolating these data reveals that there could be an estimated 21 quadrillion spiders on Earth!

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