Spiders are creatures that might top your lists of terrifying things, but when you learn that spider paws are real — and actually adorable — you might change your mind about these creepy-crawlies. True, spiders are frightening little (though sometimes quite large) arachnids that don't seem to serve a purpose beyond scaring the bejesus out of us when we stumble upon one in the bathroom. But there's something about their soft-looking paws that make us think of our own furry four-legged friends.
What we've affectionately been referring to as the paw is actually called the tarsus. The tarsus is the last section of a spider's leg, and at the end are two or three claws depending on the species. The tarsus, like the rest of the body, is covered in hair that the spider uses to detect movement of nearby prey and predators.
According to Norman Platnick, who works at the American Museum of Natural History, not all spiders have a cute tuft of hair at the end of their claw.
"About half of the spider families have claw tufts. These animals usually have only two claws at the tips of their legs, and are usually hunting spiders, who pursue their prey," Platnick told Mother Nature Network. "Web-building spiders typically have three claws; the two paired claws, like those found in hunting spiders; plus a third, smaller, unpaired claw that helps them maneuver on their silk threads."
Pretty interesting stuff, right? But if you came only to see if these cute spider paws could actually change your mind, we'll get to the good stuff now. Without further ado, behold these adorable paws and try not to say, "Aww."
They're really cute, we promise!
h/t Bored Panda
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