Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spider Sunday 3-11-12

Forgive me if this one is up a little bit late. This Spider Sunday is also my son's tenth (!) birthday. The festivities started Saturday with an all-day amusement park trip, and I am already exhausted.

But onto the spiders (and a few of their relations, in this edition)!

Are Daddy Long legs Spiders?
If you're still confused about the daddy long legs issue, this video is pretty good, and it's a great mini-lesson on taxonomy in general. It illustrates why I never use the term. My only nitpick: he should say "venom glands," not "poison glands." (Two pedantic spider points in one item! I win!)

Are camel spiders from overseas invading Phoenix?
Short answer: No. Longer answer: Are you serious? No. And word to the wise (and also reporters): They're not actually spiders; and they're certainly not insects.

Speaking of camel spiders
OK, I know they're not real spiders, but more than a few people sent me blips about this film, which reaffirms all the myths we've heard (but unlike squeamish reporters, know are false) about camel spiders. Like Arachnophobia, only nowhere near as good. Still, campy fun. Starring the guy who played Leo on Charmed, apparently.

Spider silk = super substance
Dumbledore might have discovered the twelve uses of dragon blood, but I'm pretty sure we've already topped twelve uses for spider silk, besides getting in our faces and catching dinner for spiders. There's the fantastic cape from a little while ago. It might have applications for wound healing. And this week we've got violin strings from spun spider silk, and the discovery that spider silk conducts heat as well as metals, and hundreds of times better than any other organic material. Spider silk: Is there anything it can't do?

It can freak people out, that's for sure
As the farm town of Wagga Wagga, Australia faced rising floods, the people moved out and the wolf spiders moved in -- and it snowed spider silk.

OK. Now I'm really sorry for the lateness of the post. Apologies for the parting mental image. Sleep well!



Dawn Suzette said... Best Blogger Tips

Late Happy Birthday to you 10 YEAR OLD!
Thanks for the daddy longleg video. We were just talking about those at breakfast. The video was great!

Kim Hosey said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks! He had a great birthday. And yes, wasn't that daddy long legs video great?

Kim Hosey said... Best Blogger Tips

Posted by Ace of Sevens and deleted by my fat finger pressing the wrong button:

They also fail to mention that several species of camel spider are native to Arizona. They just aren't as big as the Iraqi ones.

Kim Hosey said... Best Blogger Tips

Ace of Sevens:

You're right! Solpugids are pretty darn awesome. We rescued one from my mom's cats a little while back. It kept running in quick little circles with its palps held high. It was kind of comical.

They also fail to mention in the story that we've long known that the Iraqi camel spiders are that big either -- at least, not as big as they look at first. E-mail chain letter + simple perspective trick + locale we're scare of anyway = a bunch of freaked out idiots.

Kim Hosey said... Best Blogger Tips

*Locale we're SCARED of. Which isn't even technically correct. Oh my god. I should just go back to bed right now.