Imagine the most elegant of dinner parties. The meal: A ground snake. Your guest: A tarantula. No silverware necessary, as your dining partner has brought its digestive juices with it.
Tagged With spiders
2016 was a difficult year and 2017 doesn't stand to get any better, so here's the bad news — the ghost spiders have flown over to a remote island, evolving into new species scientists were previously unaware of. In order to fly, spiders use a technique called ballooning, turning their silk into a sort of kite that takes them long distances. National Geographic reports that a new study finds that ghost spiders — named for their light complexion — ballooned themselves to the famous Robinson Crusoe Island and have since evolved at a rapid pace.
Spiders are terrifying. This is science fact.
Jumping spiders crank things up a notch because, Jesus Christ man, they can jump.
Now there's more bad news: jumping spiders just got scarier.
Trap-jaw spiders hunt by sneaking up on their prey and rapidly snapping their mandibles shut, but scientists weren't entirely sure about the mechanics involved. Using high-speed video, researchers from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History have chronicled just how these spiders manage such an impressive combination of power and speed. The details can now be found in Current Biology.
Video: Here's time lapse footage of a garden orb spider building out its web. It's really interesting to see the process from the start when it seems like a few random strands connected to each other, and especially cool to see it at the end when it's all completed and ready to catch its first prey. The whole web spinning process is detailed perfectly to help you understand what's going on too.
Here's a fun fact to chew on while planning your next trip to America: the southwestern United States is brimming with tarantula diversity. Today in the journal ZooKeys, biologists describe 14 previously unknown species of tarantulas living in the American Southwest, including Aphonopelma johnnycashi. Country music legend Johnny Cash has a new namesake.
Researchers working in Burma have uncovered the fossilised remains of a 99-million-year old male daddy longlegs with its penis fully extended and erect. It's possibly the oldest — and longest held — erection in the history of science.