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8 superlative spiders

Oct. 2, 2013, 1:53 p.m.
Peacock spider

Photo: Jurgen Otto/Flickr

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An arachnid pageant

Autumn brings changing leaves, Halloween ghouls and a burst of activity from one member of the natural world that leaves many people cringing: spiders.

Many people don’t bother to learn more about these fascinating creatures because, well, they’re terrified of them.

But we felt it was appropriate during this season of heightened spider fear to give arachnids a little PR boost with a pageant — we won’t go so far to call it a beauty pageant — that recognizes some of the most remarkable spiders on Earth. We’ve picked a spider to represent each of eight different categories — from best legs to most industrious. And, yes, some of these superlative spiders are rather large and all are venomous, so if this is a sensitive topic, please proceed with caution. (Text: Matt Hickman)