Posts Tagged ‘spiders’

Nature Ramble

Tarantulas this week.

Are they as fearsome as we imagine?

The link today points to a BBC slide show.

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Tarantulas

Tarantulas have large, hairy bodies that make them the stuff of nightmares for many, but they look more threatening than they actually are. The mild venom of their bite is weaker than the average bee’s, and causes little more pain than a wasp sting. There are hundreds of species of tarantula living in the world’s tropical jungles and deserts. South America is home to some of the most sizeable species, such as the Goliath spiders that can have a leg span of 30cm. The name tarantula originates from the Italian town of Taranto.

See more tarantulas

See more tarantulas

Nature Ramble

Another video clip this week. Not hornets this time but a spider that makes its own net and catches its prey in 1/1,000 second.

The clip embedded here is a BBC Life of two other spiders.

But the BBC report video, you’ll have to follow the link (logo at bottom).

Net-casting spider hunt filmed in wild

The net-casting spider’s deadly strike is completed in a split-second

High-speed footage of a net-casting spider’s hunting technique has been recorded by a film crew.

As ambush hunters, the spiders are known to use a combination of touch and well-developed sight to sense prey.

The video reveals the rarely-seen, split-second technique of the species as it snatches an unsuspecting cricket in a Central American forest.

The team believe this is the first slow-motion footage to show a net-casting spider hunting in the wild.

Expert, Dr George McGavin, who witnessed the event said: “I would compare it to watching a big cat kill. It’s as exciting as that.”

The film crew were in central America filming wildlife for a new nature series, The Dark: Nature’s Nighttime World.

They waited for five hours with the cameras trained on the spider until the cricket strayed into the killing zone beneath the net.

“The spider did not move a muscle until the antenna of that prey item, the cricket, touched the thread.

“As soon as it touched it, [the spider] was on it in a thousandth of a second,” said Dr McGavin, “if we hadn’t had that camera, you wouldn’t have seen a thing.”

“It was the most exciting thing I’ve ever seen,” he said.

Net-casting spiders are found across the world in tropical and sub-tropical regions and are also known as ogre-faced spiders because of their distinctive big eyes, which help it to see prey during nighttime hunts.

But on this occasion, the team also captured the important moment that triggers the spider’s trap.

When the cricket touched one of the net’s anchoring threads with its antenna, it caused the spider to strike.

Read more and see the video clip here.

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