Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What's the scariest invertebrate?

To a lot of people, this lobster tail of a marine monster is. Apparently, this is an old chestnut on the internet, but I can't help wanting to share this. My friend Andy sent me a link to a Gawker article about these guys. They're basically pill bugs that live on the sea floor and eat things that fall to the bottom. They're the dust mites in Davy Jones' locker, the Gregor Samsas of the sea, except instead of skin flakes or toenail clippings, they eat dead tunas. I know the internet tends to be a home for the reactionary, but everyone seems to be freaked out by these. I don't really think they're all that terrifying compared to say, giant spider crabsor coconut crabs
or even horseshoe crabs.(It's how sexy they are in this photo that's the scary part. Right??)

I feel this might be an appropriate time to bring up the first internet thing to really get my goat, the... CAMEL SPIDER.

By now, a lot of people know that these are not in fact spiders, but wind scorpions or sun scorpions, depending on where you are. They use their very powerful mandibles to kill small animals like lizards and mice. I won't link to it because it's brutally gross, but there are youtube videos of one of these suckers in a bucket with a mouse. It doesn't end well for the mouse.

Now, a more obscure fact is that in Northern New Mexico, a smaller versions of these guys is known as the Child of the Earth. It's said they scream when you step on them. At least that's what I heard from a co-worker. Now I go to look on the internet, and I see that there's another bug that people call Child of the Earth: the Jerusalem Cricket (google also brought up an image of a sun scorpion, so my co-worker isn't the only one who considers two vastly different bugs to be basically the same thing).I saw one of these on the sidewalk just last night, and I have to say, it was a little freaky.

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