Archive for the ‘Wild Wild Life’ Category

Name the Arachnid, Win a Prize

I think it’s offi­cial now — either solifuges like me, or there’s some­thing sub­stan­tially wrong with me.* Yes, there was another one in the hall at work this morn­ing, a good-​​​​sized one too, and it was very hale and quite peppy. I was able to con­tain it using my trusty candy jar, but since it was so active […]

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More Arachnids

At this rate it could become a habit. Nothing ven­omous this time. I’ve men­tioned solifuges before — even built a Magic deck* around them — and today we got a visit from what appears to have become my totem arthro­pod,** locally known as a sun spi­der. Apparently, alas, this was a vic­tim of a recent round of pest con­trol. It was […]

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Geekin’ Out with the MtG Arizona Theme Deck

I was able to assem­ble a bit of a cast of char­ac­ters for the Magic Arizona theme deck I men­tioned last week when com­ment­ing about (among other things) solifuges. They inspired me. These crea­tures are known locally as sun spi­ders; oth­ers might have heard them called camel spi­ders. They acheived demi-​​​​legendary sta­tus a while ago amid wildly inac­cu­rate claims […]

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Arachnid Serendipity

I’d intended today to post on my Arizona-​​​​themed Magic deck (men­tioned here), but some­thing hap­pened last night that changed my mind. Wednesday we hosted a pre­sen­ta­tion on ven­omous crea­tures of north­west­ern Arizona — the talk was about the A-​​​​listers with poi­son, such as Western dia­mond­back and Mohave rat­tlesnakes, Gila mon­sters* and scor­pi­ons. That night (last night), while […]

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Life’s Way: Offense and Defense in the Mojave

Shelley Batts (a ScienceBlogger) posted some com­ments on dif­fer­ent kinds of stings, along with a scale for rat­ing which hurt the most. That led me to muse on some of my own expe­ri­ences with our local pointy objects. Arizona’s ter­ri­tory — on the west­ern side — is pretty much entirely com­prised of the Mojave Desert. With […]

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Xtreme Ants

This one came through Seed. It’s slow-​​​​motion video of trap-​​​​jaw ants, whose mandibles close at more than 100 MPH. What’s great is the videos of the ants fling­ing them­selves through the air; the “bouncer defense jump” in par­tic­u­lar looks like somet­ing a stunt junkie would do.

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