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Crickets 'Forewarn' Unborn Babies About Spiders

 

ScienceDaily (Feb. 17, 2010)

Just because cricket moms abandon their eggs before they hatch doesn't mean they don't pass wisdom along to their babies. New research in the American Naturalist shows that crickets can warn their unborn babies about potential predator threats.

Researchers Jonathan Storm of the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg and Steven Lima of Indiana State University placed pregnant crickets into enclosures containing a wolf spider. The spiders' fangs were covered with wax so the spiders could stalk the crickets, but couldn't kill them. After the crickets laid their eggs, Storm and Lima then compared the behavior of those offspring to offspring whose mothers hadn't been exposed to spiders. The differences were dramatic.

When placed into a terrarium with a hungry wolf spider, the crickets born of spider-exposed mothers were more likely to seek shelter and stay there. They stayed hidden 113 percent longer -- and as a result had higher survival rates -- than offspring from mothers that hadn't been exposed to spiders. Another experiment showed that the "forewarned" crickets were more likely to freeze when they encountered spider silk or feces -- a behavior that could prevent them from being detected by a nearby spider.

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Charli and Marley update!

 

Tried to get better photos of the kids Charli and Marley, we should have some higher quality images next week as well as video! Also stay tuned... Charli will be getting her very own section of the blog!

Our Girl!
Our Girl Charli !

Marley
Marley

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Big Hairy Spiders...The tarantula and its bad reputation!

 
Lets start off with a scenario, your watching a horror movie, the lights are dim, you see a tarantula on the screen, your skin starts to crawl and a little bit of panic sets in. After the movie your constantly feeling something is crawling on you, does this sound familiar?

In our culture we see the tarantula as a big vicious spider, Tarantulapoisonous, ruthless and out to sink its fangs into us! This is hardly the case, in fact, it's completely the opposite. A good majority of tarantulas are docile, and only if provoked they may rear up in an aggressive posture to give you a warning "Leave me alone!". Now by no means am I saying go pet one in the wild, but remember they are afraid of us just as much as we are to them.

There are 2 types of tarantulas, the Arboreal, which live in trees and high places and the other is terrestrial meaning they burrow into the ground.  Tarantulas are very fragile, sure they are big but, if a tarantula falls from 6 inches it could be severly injured and a fall from a foot it will most likely be fatal.

Many people ask if tarantulas are poisonous...yes but, their venom is pretty much harmless to us. I do not think there has been a case of someone suffering a fatal bite. If bitten swelling will appear, it will be painful for several hours and reactions vary from person to person, some have harsher reactions than others. In any event if bitten while out adventuring I would recommend seeing a doctor.

If you are ever faced with a tarantula in your home, before smashing it you may want to try and trap it then release it back into the wild, they are not out to get us they just get lost sometimes! I hope this has given you a little bit of insight on the tarantula.

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