Did you know that there are “spiders” that live in the ocean? Make no mistake – these are different from spiders that live on land. For starters, they don’t spin webs, and some can have up to 12 legs (instead of the standard eight for land spiders). Sea spiders are found in oceans around the world, but the one in this photo lives off the coast of B.C. – at least that’s where Vancouver Aquarium biologists found it.
With a body the size of a quarter and thin spindly legs, this creature can easily be overlooked in an exhibit full of other animals. But it didn’t escape the sharp eye of one of our biologists, who noticed the animal resembling daddy long legs during his daily rounds.
This sea spider wasn’t specifically collected to be a part of the Aquarium’s Treasures of the B.C. Coast exhibit, but it inadvertently hitched a ride onto a sea sponge, which the spider relies on for shelter. For food, it sucks the bodily fluids of other animals, like sea anemones, using its tube-like mouth.
Because of its size, you may want to take a closer look the next time you peer into one of our exhibits – you never know what little surprise you might discover staring back at you.