Huge New Spider Species Discovered in Mexican Cave. Arachnophobes, go to your happy place and please click here.
Researchers from the San Diego Natural History Museum along with other experts recently unveiled a new spider species found in Mexico that is roughly the size of a softball, reports Deborah Sullivan Brennan at the Los Angeles Times. According to a blog post from the museum, in 2013 field entomologist Jim Berrian and a team of researchers found the spider while exploring the Sierra Cacachilas, a small mountain range in Baja California Sur in Mexico. The world’s spider population could eat every human being in a year. If you’re scared of spiders, don’t read this post.
Seriously, don’t read this. The great evolutionary biologist J. B. S. Haldane once wrote of “our Creator” that he “would appear as endowed with a passion ... for beetles ... for the simple reason that there are nearly 300,000 species of beetle known ... as compared with somewhat less than 9,000 species of birds and a little over 10,000 species of mammals.” 13 Secrets of Forensic Entomologists. Forensic entomology is the study of insects in criminal investigations.
Think you know something about the field because you’ve seen Gil Grissom on CSI or Jack Hodgins of Bones working on cases? Read on. Ants developed agriculture 50 million years ago. Scientists at the Center for Social Evolution are conducting basic research on ant colonies and believe that they could teach us a thing or two about efficient farming methods.
(Photo: Shutterstock) This article is part of our Basic Research theme. Goliath Birdeater: Images of a Colossal Spider. Man Lets Himself Get Stung by One of the Biggest Assholes of the Insect Kingdom. Insane Man Stings Himself With the Second Most Painful Insect on Earth. Earth - The flea invasion that never happened. Here we go again.
Earth - Cockroaches are not radiation-proof and most are not pests. Reputation: Yuck.
Cockroaches are filthy, immortal scavengers that are unaffected by radiation. In a post-apocalyptic world, it will be these dirty little critters that survive. We would be better off without them. Earth - Ten sinister parasites that control their hosts' minds. Zombie ant fungus (Ophiocordyceps unilateralis) Ants are great navigators, following highly efficient paths as they forage for food.
But in the rainforests of Thailand, Africa and Brazil, Camponotus leonardi ants get pulled off course by Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, a parasitic fungus (pictured above). A spore first infects an ant foraging on the rainforest floor, then spends 3-9 days developing inside its body. When the fungus is ready to complete its life cycle, it manipulates the worker to plod blindly away from safety, like a zombie. A study in 2009 found that the ants always went to similar locations: around 25 cm up a tree, in a spot with just the right amount of humidity for the fungus to grow. Within 24 hours, fungal threads emerge from the corpse.
Earth - The world's worst stinger has a surprising owner. Nightmarish Find: Giant, Venomous Centipede Is a Powerful Swimmer. A giant, toothy centipede with countless legs is also a swimming fiend, making it the first known aquatic centipede on record.
And it's venomous, to boot, researchers found. The newfound giant can grow longer than a person's hand. In fact, researchers caught one measuring 7.9 inches (20 centimeters) long, according to the study. George Beccaloni, a curator of orthopteroids at the Natural History Museum in London, discovered the critter while honeymooning in Thailand in 2001, according to National Geographic.
The worst pain known to humans: the “bullet ant” gloves of Brazil. Parponera clavata is known as the “bullet ant” because of the intense pain it inflicts with its stings.
It’s a big reddish-black ant of the neotropical forests, and I was stung a single time by one in Costa Rica. It was, perhaps, the most intense pain from an insect I’ve ever felt (a baby squirrel sinking its incisors repeatedly into the ball of my thumb rivals this incident!) They’re huge ants; here’s one for scale. The ruler is in centimeters (2.54 cm = 1 inch), so this one things is nearly an inch long. Ranking the Pain of Stinging Insects, From ‘Caustic’ to ‘Blinding' (Graphic by Michelle Enemark) Trekking along a mountain in Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica, entomologist Justin Schmidt came across a nest of the tropical wasp species Polybia simillima, better known as the Fierce Black Polybia Wasp.
The agile, buzzing insect has a reputation for having a painful sting. But, Schmidt casted fear aside and approached the nest buried deep inside a dark, densely prickly shrub. History, Travel, Arts, Science, People, Places. When dung beetles dance, they photograph the firmament. Bedbug genome decoded in hopes of destroying the tiny blood suckers. There was a time when parents putting children to bed would tell them to "sleep tight and don't let the bedbugs bite. " While that little rhyme was simply a cute phrase to kids growing up in the middle of the last century, these days it could well be taken as a serious warning.
According to one 2011 survey, one in five Americans has either had a bedbug infestation in their home or knows someone who's come in contact with the critters in a hotel room or their homes, and every continent except Antarctica has experienced a resurgence during the past two decades. Combine that with the fact that bedbugs are becoming more and more resistant to insecticides meant to destroy them, and you can see how serious the issue is becoming. Fortunately scientists have just taken a key step in stopping the bitty blood suckers in their tracks – they've decoded the entire bedbug genome. These Unusual American Ants Never Get Old. 'Las Vegas of Ants' Visible on Google Earth. Not far from the Grand Canyon, near a landmark called Vulcan's Throne, the ground is dotted with strange, barren circles, visible from orbit. Evidence of an alien encounter?
Nope. The likely culprit is actually ants — a lot of them. So many that the scientists who discovered them are referring to the area as "the Las Vegas of ants. " Physicist Amelia Carolina Sparavigna, a specialist in image processing and satellite imagery analysis at the Polytechnic University of Turin in Italy, noticed the bizarre polka- dot features while studying the dimensions of the Grand Canyon rim in Google Earth. "I knew that patterned vegetation can be created by competition between plants and animals, and that, in Namibia, there is a patterned vegetation created by colonies of insects," Sparavigna told Live Science, referring to Namibia's famous "fairy circles. " Flesh-eating beetles strip bodies to the bone. The ironic name of the ‘library of life’ at The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at Berkeley in California won’t be lost on the team of scientists who work there, cataloguing and preserving animal specimens for generations to come.
Apart from scientists, the only living things you’ll find in the library are dermestid beetles that, since 1924, have helped researchers strip thousands of amphibian, reptile, bird and mammal carcasses to the bone. The beetles are far better at the job than any human, but the alliance is an uneasy one, since loose beetles have occasionally been known to destroy preserved specimens elsewhere in the museum. This video was produced by PBS Digital Studios as part of KQED San Francisco’s short science documentary series, Deep Look. Earth - Ten sinister parasites that control their hosts' minds. Horrifying study shows how far bed bugs can spread in apartment buildings. - Seriously, Science? Why the Arctic's Big Mosquito Problem Is Getting a Lot Worse. First glimpse of skydiving spiders showing off gliding skills.
America’s most lethal animal. Animal attacks have been in the news a lot. Dinosaur-times cockroach caught in amber, from Myanmar. Why Ants Handle Traffic Better Than You Do. Ants Go Marching - Issue 3: In Transit. Five World War II bombers took off from a Florida airfield on Oct. 5, 1967 to bomb the American South. Giant Invasive Crab Caught Walking Down The Street In Hawaii.
Termite Art for Your Desktop. Yet another reason to hate ticks. Scientists study biomechanics behind amazing ant strength. Deadly Asian Giant Hornet Spotted in Arlington Heights, Illinois: Not Cicada Killer Wasp. Are We Controlled By Parasites? Evolution one-ups genetic modification. The 5 craziest moments from the Times’ feature on “crazy ants” 10 Weirdest Looking Insects. Invasion of the Nostril Ticks. False Widow Spider Creeps Across UK. We're All Going to Be Killed by Giant Hornets. Tawny Crazy Ant (Nylanderia spp. near pubens) Hornet attacks kill dozens in China. Honeybees are sweet for skyscrapers. Breeding 3,000 new ticks. Tapeworm diet raises its ugly head in Iowa. “Ants from hell” are devouring America. Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides For 80 Years : Krulwich Wonders... FEI Image Contest 2013 Puts Amazing Electron Microscope PHOTOS In Spotlight.
Dinner’s Revenge: mealworms that survive in the stomach, then eat their way out of predators. Bioelectromagnetics: Bees, Flowers Communicate Using Electrical Fields. Butterflies fly 3,500 km by compass. What's Behind The 'Fairy Circles' That Dot West Africa? The Beekeeper Diaries: Rob Keller Does Not Get Stung (Today) Gardenista. Worms Produce Another Kind of Gold for Farmers. 13 Horrifying Ways To Die (Arthropod Edition)