Did you know? - Over 300 species of spiders live north of 60

Arctic Wolf Spider (©Christopher M. Buddle)
Arctic Wolf Spider ©Christopher M. Buddle

How do they survive?

Mammals–like polar bears, whales, and humans–generate their own body heat. But insects and spiders–known as arthropods–need warm air and sunshine to heat their bodies. So why don't they freeze to death when their body temperature plummets during the cold, dark Arctic winter?

Antifreeze on eight legs

Some arctic spiders make chemicals like glycol (used in car antifreeze) to keep their bodies free of ice. Others let ice form in their bodies, but only outside cell walls where it can do no harm.

A warm blanket - of snow!

Arctic spiders look for warmer spots to spend the winter–places where a thick blanket of snow will protect them from the bitter cold and high winds.

The diapause that refreshes

Arctic spiders rest during the winter, and their body growth slows down or stops. This rest period is called diapause. They may use it to make sure that important stages in their life cycle–like reproduction–coincide with the short time in the arctic year when their food is plentiful.

Illustration of a spider, with the word "spider" written in Inuktitut
Q:  How do you say spider in Inuktitut?

A:  Aasivak (pronounced "ah-see-vak")

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