Dr. Joan Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge

Just as a toddler who persisently pokes the light socket with a fork, looking for the forbidden jolt, so I invariably open spider links on Live Science. This latest salacious spidey-bit did not disappoint. I’m beginning to think that spider sex on Live Science is equiavlent to the cheesecake shots in Rupert Murdoch tabloids.

Creepy: Spiders Love to Snuggle by Jeanna Bryner.

Excerpts below the fold…

While not usually considered paragons of tender, familial love, some spiders do have a touchy-feely side. Scientists have discovered two arachnids that caress their young and snuggle together.

Social behavior is extremely rare in arachnids, a group of critters typically defined by their aggression, clever hunting methods and even predatory cannibalism.

“This was the best example I had ever seen of friendly behavior in an arachnid,” said lead study author Linda Rayor, a Cornell University entomologist.

“I was amazed at how incredibly interactive the groups are,” Rayor said. “They are in constant tactile contact with one another. They are constantly exploring one another and interacting with their siblings.”

But the best

The species are members of an arachnid group called amblypygids. Unlike their eight-legged relatives, the amblypygids have just six walking legs because the first pair of “ancestral” legs evolved into whips for sensing their environments.

The whip-like feelers, which can extend three to six times the length of the arachnids, can rotate 360 degrees around their bodies and are covered with fine hairs capable of delicate tickle movements.

All righty then! I’ll be off screaming in a locked room for the rest of the day, drooling, gibbering, and trying to remove those delicate tickles from whip-like feelers which now skitter across every millimeter of my skin.

Comments

  1. #1 Warren
    March 21, 2007

    This told me everything I needed to know!

    The species are members of an arachnid group called amblypygids. Unlike their eight-legged relatives, the amblypygids have just six walking legs because the first pair of “ancestral” legs evolved into whips for sensing their environments.

    Clicking the link confirmed it for me. These are commonly called whipscorpions. Wanna talk about creepy feelies on your skin? They’re ground-dwelling predators that chase their prey and can run about as fast as a cockroach.

    Probably right up your leg, too, if they feel like it.

    {eeeeeevil chuckle}

    Touchy-feely-caressy-strokey spiders. I suppose it’s just a matter of time before we see our first spider porno. Siiiiigh.

  2. #2 llewelly
    March 22, 2007

    Sometime during my misspent youth I read an SF novel involving alien invaders strongly inspired by whip scorpions. (It can’t have been too good, as I recall neither the title nor the author’s name.)

    It contained all sorts of weird touchy-feely (maybe they were intended to be titilating …) whip scorpion alien scenes , although I’m fairly sure th social interactions of the aliens were wholly invented.

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