Spiders normally build webs to snare their prey, but there’s one kind of spider that has another, and quite an unusual, way to catch its meal. This creature is called the trap-door spider.
At home in the deserts of the western United States and Mexico, the trap-door spider spends most of its time in the dry ground, in a tunnel it has dug then covered with a “trap door” of sand and pebbles.
This door is attached to the ground on one side, like a hinged door, and is so carefully built that it can’t be seen by any other creature above ground. But the spider knows where its trap door is, and can disappear through it and into one of its tunnels at the slightest sign of danger.
The trap-door spider has such excellent hearing that even while lying in its tunnel, it can hear an insect walking on the ground close to the trap door. When this happens, the spider pops out of its hole, snatches the insect, slips back into its tunnel, and closes the trap door behind it, all in a matter of a split-second!