Sunday, October 15, 2006
CAUTION, SPIDER ALERT
If you think this is creepy, spare a thought for me trawling through images to get a good one. It's a zebra tarantula and it's obvious why it's called that. Usually spiders use minute claws and pads on their feet to crawl vertically and cling upside down. Their feet are called 'tarsi' (keep that trivia).
These little/large beauties produce sticky silk out of microscopic spigots on their feet. Apparently a lot of work has been done on spiders' feet but this has been missed so the question is......are the abdominal spinnerets remnants of ancient appendages or are they a recent adaptation to supplement the claws and pads? Scientists are trying to identify the genes involved in tarsal (feet, trivia) silk production to see and this will require detailed surveys of all spider species.
Now this is an opportunity for filling out Centrelink work forms. "Do you have any special skills?" "I specialize in the measurement of tarantula silk spinning spigots. I have several specimens with me, would you like me to demonstrate my skill?" "Not likely, dole granted, please leave the building."