Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Harvestmen, Ancient Communal Spiders

I have been overcome by fascination for this creature for the past couple of weeks.

They are arachnids of enormous antiquity who live together in colossal underground warrens with not only their own kind but also any mildly related species. This seems to be some kind of collective defense against cold temperatures, the same way ants use their consolidated body heat to warm their hives.

They have been large enough at times in history to qualify for monster movies and at other times not much bigger than your fingernail. They are the consummate survivalists of all the spiders, lasting through great extinction waves that got nearly everything else.

Although they are almost never venomous, they can exude noxious gases which would be of obvious utility in repelling invaders of their deep burrows.

They seem to go in for different varieties of food storage like ants, with the exception they wrap up meals in waterproof webbing cocoons so they can last many years if they need a snack.

All these creatures need is Vault-OS to organize their hives and they would doubtless rule the planet. Notice how species who pursue Vault strategies always seem to outlast every other approach.


samhuih said...

I haven't thought about these spiders in years and years. I live in the southeastern US and used to see these extremely frequently when I was a kid. We called them "granddaddy longlegs". I have no idea why. Always heard them called that name. I wonder if they are less common or I don't stay outside as much? Not sure. I can't remember the last time I saw one. I keep an eye out for them this summer.
The ones here look similar to this one. Seems it was a little more brown though.

I'll try this with an Image tag and see if it works...and no I don't have the slightest idea of what I'm doing.

HTML code

Seems that greensnakes are not around any more. Used to be a lot of them. Wonder what happened to them?

As opposed to something that last forever like the Opiliones. Here's a link to an explanation of something that doesn't. Empires. This is probably the best paper I've ever seen on Empires. Rise and fall. Small, direct and concise.

HalibetLector said...

I'm Speechless -

What I don't get is, weren't the nazi's a lot like the romans, in that they kept very careful and detailed records? If that was true, how did anybody overlook 42 THOUSAND camps and MILLIONS OF BODIES for over 50 years?