You do, however, have MRSA
. An adorable cartoon at the new blog BuzzHootRoar draws attention to something I'd never heard of before — a lot of the time, when your doctor thinks you've been bitten by a poisonous spider, you've actually been infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria. No spider involved. And the cartoon comes with citations, which is lovely. — Maggie
Smithsonian looked at the recent startling video of a "spider rain" west of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Thousands of spiders can be seen moving up and down their Webs hanging from telephone wires and floating through the air.
According to biologist Marta Fischer of the Pontifical Catholic University of Parana, however, the phenomenon is not so strange. ”This type of spider is known to be quite social,” she said. “They are usually in trees during the day and in the late afternoon and early evening construct sort of giant sheets of webs, in order to trap insects...”
It’s Raining Spiders in Brazil
If strong winds come along, the web may detach from its anchors, carrying the spiders and their ruined home to new sites where they appear to “rain down.” Catching rides on the wind–en mass–was likely what happened in Santo Antonio da Platina.
Horrible, horrible things. Blogger Bug Girl explains the finer points of male spider anatomy
and, also, probably way more than you wanted to know about Peter Parker's personal life. — Maggie
Six-eyed sand spiders make their living by hiding, burrowing into the sand where they lie in wait of passing prey. Given that, it's a bit surprising how ... cute ... the process of burrowing looks. All I could think while watching this video was, "Awww, who's a happy spider?"
Via Brian Malow
The Attleborough Sun-Chronicle
reports that a spider got inside a voting machine on election day
, thereby preventing the scanner inside from correctly counting ballots. Poll workers stayed up all night to count Rehoboth, MA.'s ballots by hand; presidential candidate Mitt Romney emerged victorious. — Rob
This is a spider, which was encased in tree sap while in the act of attacking a wasp. The sap turned to amber, leaving an incredible preserved scene, with even individual strands of silk from the spider's web remaining unbroken for 100 million years.
— The paper this is taken from (sits behind a paywall, unfortunately)
— Learn more about the preservation of bugs in amber at the website for NOVA's "Jewell of the Earth" documentary
Spider molting from Karli Larson on Vimeo.
Spiders don't have an internal skeleton like we do. Instead, their muscles are anchored to an exoskeleton—a sort of hard, semi-flexible shell that encases a spider's whole body. In order to grow bigger, spiders have to grow new exoskeletons and shed old ones.
Karli Larson found a spider on her window frame in the process of shedding its exoskeleton. Naturally, she filmed it and set the whole thing to music. She says:
The entire molting process took about 30 minutes to fully complete. This is the interesting part, sped up.
The camera is a little shakey, so if that bothers you, well, sorry. But I think this is still way fascinating.
Read more about spiders, their exoskeletons, and the molting process at HowStuffWorks
Thanks, Maggie Ryan Sandford!
[Video Link]. "A lot of people die. Just so you know."—Dan Lucal. (via Casimir Nozkowski)