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I can’t stop looking at the extraordinary photos by Thomas Shahan, an Oregon-based artist and microphotographer who creates amazing portraits of arthropods, including these awesome jumping spiders. His beautiful monsters don’t make me run in fear, but make me smile (knowing they are tiny, that is.) In fact, some of their faces are hilarious.
Like in Game of Thrones, where the Iron Throne was forged from the swords of all the enemies Aegon the Conqueror defeated, this Cyclosa spider uses its dead enemies’ bodies to build a big fake spider decoy design to sit on. Seriously, the spider uses its victim’s insect corpses to construct a larger spider-shaped design on its web to scare off potential predators. That’s so badarse.
I can’t do it. These photographs by photographer Jimmy Kong are absolutely fantastic in capturing the venomous detail of spiders in their habitat. They look positively alien and almost peaceful. But don’t you dare think that. Not for a second. Because once you think these fur ball mini aliens come in peace, the spiders are going to leap off the screen and rip your freaking head off.
If you’ve got $1350 burning a hole in your pocket and an arachnophobic friend you love to terrorise, the folks at Robugtix will happily trade your heard-earned money for this incredibly lifelike robotic spider called the T8.
A lot of biodiversity research relies on being able to recognise and catalogue the species in a given ecosystem. That’s a task made slightly easier when spiders are involved thanks to researchers at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain who’ve developed algorithms that can automatically recognise an arachnid based on the design of the web it spins.
Her name was Nefertiti. Her species was Phidippus johnsoni. She was the first jumping spider to make it all the way to space and live to tell about it. After spending 100 days aboard the ISS, she successfully readjusted to life on earth where she enjoyed just five days of retirement at the National Museum of Natural History’s Insect Zoo. And sadly yesterday she breathed her last.