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Posts Tagged "spiders"

Anthropology in Practice

Editor’s Selections: Bipedalism, Emotions, Mass deaths, and Gifts

This week on my ResearchBlogging.org column: Could there be evidence of a second type of bipedalism in the hominid family tree? Possibly—though the evidence is scant. At Lawn Chair Anthropology, Zachary Cofran discusses the potential a 3.4 million year old foot may bring to discussions about evolution. How does your liver feel? The Neuroskeptic discusses [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

Some Spider: My House Spider Took Out a Scorpion

shelob_on_scorpion_jf_200

Two scorpions, actually. One of the more unpleasant facts about life in the Deep South is the sheer number of insects who call your house home. When I moved to southern Texas from my nearly bug-free Colorado quarters, I discovered I would now be sharing digs with carpenter ants, sugar ants, tiny paper-eating silverfish, an [...]

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Budding Scientist

Flying Spiders: Watch a Scene From “Charlotte’s Web” in Your Backyard

“Charlotte’s Web,” the E.B. White childhood classic, ends with Wilbur the pig eagerly waiting for Charlotte’s baby spiders to emerge from their egg sac. When they finally crawl out, they do something that seems pretty amazing to anyone not familiar with how spiders travel long distances: they fly away. Here’s the passage from the last [...]

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Compound Eye

The Case of the Lopsided Spider

liewwk1s

I was entranced by this image when it appeared today in my facebook stream: Captured by the talented Malaysian photographer Liew Wk, the photo shows a developmental asymmetry in size between the anterior median eyes of this Asian jumping spider. I do not know what caused this imbalance. Perhaps each side is a molt out of sync, [...]

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Compound Eye

How Photography Transformed Spider Science

For being mildly arachnophobic I’ve been on a real spider binge lately. Here’s a wonderful Smithsonian-produced video highlighting the role of photography in spider science: (h/t Bug Girl)

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Compound Eye

An Enemy in the Ranks

Amyciaea1f

Imagine, for a moment, the horror if we humans were stalked by a common predator that hid itself in the open by looking…just like us. A humanoid patrolling the streets like a bloodthirsty mannequin, picking off pedestrians that venture too close. Fortunately for us, this sobering thought is only a grim fantasy. Australian weaver ants, [...]

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Compound Eye

Real-life SpiderMan: Thomas Shahan

Thomas_Shahan2f

As the science media today is carrying news of how spiders use defocus to judge distance, I thought it an opportune moment to share the portfolio of a master of spider portraiture. Oklahoma artist Thomas Shahan may scarcely be out of college, but he is recognized worldwide for his startling portrayals of jumping spiders. If [...]

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Compound Eye

Thrifty Thursday: The iPhone looks at a Spiny Spider

Thrifty Thursdays feature photographs taken with equipment costing less than $500. [taken with an Apple iPhone 3G & $20 macro lens] There’s a cliché in photography that the best camera is the one you have with you. Recently, the camera most people have with them is a cell phone. By stacking a small magnifying lens on top [...]

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Extinction Countdown

9 New Tree-Loving and Endangered Tarantula Species Discovered in Brazil

tarantulas

Nine new species of colorful, arboreal tarantulas have been discovered in central and eastern Brazil, an area where only seven tarantula species had previously been known. All nine of the newly described species are threatened by habitat loss and potentially by overzealous spider collectors. As described this week in the open-access journal ZooKeys, the newly [...]

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Observations

Jumping Spiders Use Blurry Vision to Catch Quick Prey with Precision [Video]

To figure out how far away our dinner plate is our brain melds the slightly different images coming from our two eyes. Other creatures, including many insects, move their heads to glean how far a piece of food might be. But jumping spiders (Hasarius adansoni) don’t seem to possess either of these abilities. So how [...]

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Observations

Spooky new spider weaves monster webs

big spider web weaver

One of the largest orb-weaving spiders had remained hidden from entomologists in plain sight. The new species of giant golden orb weaver (Nephila komaci), which builds meter-wide webs, entangled a doctoral student who stumbled upon a specimen in a museum collection. "It was surprising to find a giant female Nephila from South Africa in the [...]

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Running Ponies

Two new species of Chinese spider are positively weeny

Mysmena wawuensis

Dear Mr M. wawuensis, Thank you for your application to study at the Academy of Terrors and General Unpleasantness. As you know, the Academy can only accept a very limited number of students each year, and unfortunately we cannot offer you a place this coming semester. This decision was based on a rigorous assessment from our admissions [...]

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