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8 superlative spiders

Oct. 2, 2013, 1:53 p.m.
Bird dropping spider

Photo: Jurgen Otto/Flickr

8 of 10

Best camouflage

Bird dropping spider (Celaenia excavata)

While numerous types of spiders (long-spinnered bark spiders, six-eyed sand spiders and goldenrod crab spiders) are able to ingeniously blend into their natural surroundings, you gotta hand it to Celaenia excavata for taking the camouflage concept up a notch: this beneficial moth-munching spider has evolved to resemble a big heaping mass of bird dung. Found in gardens and orchards across (where else but) Australia, its guise enables it to remain hidden from its most formidable predator: birds. Because really, what self-respecting bird would want to dine on its own poo? The female bird dropping spider also produces some gnarly-looking egg sacks that resemble the world’s most unappetizing cluster of grapes.