I’m kind of a big deal on the web

Poets take note! There’s another critter out there even more adept than we are at hiding behind an enormous effigy of itself made entirely of garbage:

New Species of ‘Decoy’ Spider Likely Discovered At Tambopata Research Center

From afar, it appears to be a medium sized spider about an inch across, possibly dead and dried out, hanging in the center of a spider web along the side of the trail. Nothing too out of the ordinary for the Amazon. As you approach, the spider starts to wobble quickly forward and back, letting you know this spider is, in fact, alive.

Step in even closer and things start to get weird— that spider form you were looking at is actually made up of tiny bits of leaf, debris, and dead insects. The confusion sets in. How can something be constructed to look like a spider, how is it moving, and what kind of creature made this!?

It turns out the master designer behind this somewhat creepy form is in fact a tiny spider, only about 5mm in body length, that is hiding behind or above that false, bigger spider made up of debris.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

4 Comments


  1. Weird! What sequence of evolutionary blurts and hiccups brought that into being?

    Good times at the Junction yesterday, incidentally. Stuart and I have plans for a scrutiny of the North London micro/craft brewery pubs in January. Maybe Santa might bring you an air ticket for Christmas?

    Reply

    1. If only I’d been smart enough to set up a travel fund and ask friends and family to donate in lieu of Christmas presents! But I’ll get there, by hook or by crook. Can’t decide whether to come in the winter when fares are cheap but the weather is beastly, or in April and May when the situation is reversed. Whenever I come, there’s a good bet that pub-hopping will be on the agenda.

      Reply

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