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Johnny Cash Has A New Arachnid Namesake

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.

Behold The First Erect Penis Ever Found Preserved In Amber

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.

Spider Silk Is Even More Incredible Than We Thought

Swiss researchers are working on a new kind of chemical sensor — one made of light and spider’s webs. This thin, yet ultra strong, material has two properties that make it ideal for this purpose: its ability to channel light and its reactivity.

Who Needs Stars When You Can Gaze At Spiders Through Your Telescope?

Image Cache: Freaking spiders, always getting up on the camera lens like they want to be astronomers, too.

We Still Don't Know Why The Heck There Are So Many Blue Tarantulas

A very particular shade of blue hair has evolved independently on eight separate occasions and in at least three different ways in tarantulas, a new study finds. And scientists are having a hell of a time figuring out why.

Scientists Analysed Spiderweb DNA, And The Results Are Super Creepy

Walking into a spiderweb just got creepy. Those sticky strands clinging to your hair and face? They’re smeared with traces of the spider’s last meal, according to a fascinating new analysis of spiderweb DNA.

This Spider's Mate Breaks Her Genitals So She Can't Have Sex Ever Again

Male animals can be greedy about paternity. They have evolved a ton of different strategies to help them monopolize a female’s eggs. Beating up rivals is a general favourite. Some species use long bouts of sex to keep females away from new mates. Still others stop up female genitals with gooey plugs or bits of broken male genitalia.

Here's How Spiders React When They Get A Dose Of Venom

When your work involves balancing on thin threads, wrapping up struggling prey, and trying to bite it, you can expect a few accidents — especially if the prey can bite back. One group of spiders has an effective solution for when they get bitten by venomous prey.

Catherine Scott Spent All Of Friday Afternoon Waiting For Her Spiders To Have Sex

Catherine Scott is a graduate student working toward her Ph.D. at the University of Toronto. She’s studying the courtship behaviour of black widow spiders. That means that her experiments often involve waiting for spiders to have sex.

Tiny Dancing Spider Crickets Could Lead To Better Robotics

Spider crickets are masters of aerodynamics. They don’t have wings, but they can jump up to 60 times their body length — equivalent to a human track star jumping the length of a football field. Now a team of engineering students at Johns Hopkins University has videotaped the critters in slow motion and discovered some of their aerodynamic secrets.

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