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.