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Can you eat a spider?

Spring is the perfect time of year to get outside. The birds are singing, the bees are buzzing, the plants are in bloom and the sun is shining. And while yes some of us or probably most of us are in lockdown it doesn't mean you can't find something fun to discover on your balcony, in your backyard or your local public green space.

Now it's a good idea to wear gloves when we're going out looking because we don't want to get hurt. So gloves on our hands if you've got an adult helper to come around with you and remember to not put our hands where we can't see them. Let's go looking.

Spiders can be found on every continent except Antarctica. There are nearly 4,000 spider species that have currently been described in Australia. Let's see if we can find some spiders or maybe some evidence of spiders around our place.

You could look for them in the trees or plants. You could look under rocks or logs or even outdoor furniture. But remember we shouldn't touch spiders as we don't want to hurt them but we also don't want them hurting us. And remember to not put your hands into places where you can't see. What evidence can you see? Curled up leaves are usually made by spiders.

Spiders are a group of arachnids. They have eight legs and two main body parts. A cephalothorax which is the head, combined with the part of the body that has the legs attached to it. And the abdomen which contains the spider's heart and is also where silk is made and released through spinnerets at the tip. They have fangs where the venom is secreted through. Spiders lay eggs and spin webs from their silk. Some spider silk is as strong as steel.

Let's cook spiders!

Some spiders you can touch and even eat are the ones we're going to make today.

What you'll need is a bowl, some adult permission. 200 grams of choc chips, 100 grams of dried noodles, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. But if you can't have peanut butter, you can always just leave it out. A tablespoon, a spatula and a baking tray or plate. And baking paper or a reusable tray.

First what you'll need is to melt the chocolate. You'll need a microwavable bowl. Pour your chopped chips in and you can either put this in the microwave for a couple of seconds making sure not to burn the chocolate. Or alternatively with your adult helper, you can use the stove and melt it over the heat. I'm going to go for the friendly version of the microwave. Okay so you can see that's really nice and smooth there.

Okay, next step we're going to pour in our noodles and our peanut butter and we're simply going to stir that around until it's nice and combined. Wow what we do is we're going to spoon that onto our tray or plate. And there we have it, our chocolate spiders. We just have to pop them in the fridge just for a couple of hours until they set and then they're good enough to eat.

Thanks for watching and the adventure doesn't have to stop here. You can keep learning with many games activities and quizzes on our Australian Museum website. Have fun!

Duration: 5 mins

Ages: 5-12 years

Can you eat a spider? Explore your backyard or local park to see what evidence you can find of spiders, then get into the kitchen and cook your own spider.

Shopping list for this activity:

  • Parent supervision/permission
  • 200g choc chips
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • Packet of dried noodles
  • Bowl (microwavable)
  • Spatula/spoon
  • Tray/plate
  • Baking paper
  • Use of microwave and fridge.