Posts Tagged: ‘spiders’

If you were born a baby spider, things would have turned out much differently for you. You’d have been mostly brain, for example. Researchers have long suspected that tiny spiders — the young of which are routinely born deformed yet grow into normally proportioned adults — are born with very large brains. Now they know it, thanks to what I imagine is research that amounted to dissecting deformed spider babies carried out by arachnid specialists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, down Panama way.

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I think there’s probably nothing more disturbing than a giant spider, one where you can see all of its mouth parts and eyes and hairs. Extremely close up photography provides some of the unsettlement, but at least you can’t hear the terrible sounds they make. Their ability to terrify me (only in gigantism) notwithstanding, spiders are also extremely interesting creatures (arachnids, to be technical).

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So you know how, once you find or buy something like that, you want to try it out? Me too. So I strapped mine on, called the dog and went out into the backyard. I have been doing a big yard project, so there are some piles of dirt in the back yard.

I turned my head and shined the headlight on one of the piles, and the strangest thing happened. It sparkled. The pile of dirt had all these reflections coming off of it. I stood facing the pile and looked at it. Still sparkling. This is a very poor photograph of what I saw…

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As Peter Parker could tell you if he weren’t off fighting the Green Goblin, spiders are amazing creatures. A lot of that awesomeness stems from the silk with which they spin their mighty webs. With its tough but elastic nature, the silk that some arachnids like to loop from spot to spot creates a dragline that’s tougher than Kevlar — the material you want to be outfitted with if you ever decide to take a bullet, not that we’re suggesting that.

Now a couple of researchers suggest that they’ve found the toughest biological material ever, as reported in the journal PLoS ONE.

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Spiders are amazing creatures, and the ability to spin and navigate a web ranks up there near the top of insect capabilities. In the following video you can see a spider spinning the classic web and avoiding stickiness…

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A few weeks ago, history blogger Katie Lambert forwarded me a World Hum article on how to eat fried tarantula in Cambodia. I don’t really want to eat fried tarantula, but according to travel writer Darrin DuFord, if you take a taxi to the town of Skuon and roll down the window, street vendors (who are not on roller skates) will approach your vehicle with trays piled high in fried arachnids.

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You Asked: How do I get rid of confirmed brown recluse spiders in an old house that we’re renovating? — Deedee, Auburn, Ga. Marshall Brain Answers: One thing is sure – Brown recluse spiders are not to be messed with, as demonstrated in these two videos. The bite of a brown recluse can cause an […]

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The deadliest spiders can be found in Australia. They are known as funnel web spiders, one of which is common to Sydney. The other is found in the mountains and has half-inch-long fangs dripping venom. This year is a particularly good year for the spiders: Killer funnel-web spiders invade Sydney Forget sharks and crocodiles: the […]

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