Wild Things: Tarantulas, Jellyfish and More...
Hummingbirds, attacking bears, ancient hominids and other news updates in wildlife research
- By T.A. Frail, Megan Gambino, Laura Helmuth, Erin Wayman and Sarah Zielinski
- Smithsonian magazine, July-August 2011,
Female Chilean rose tarantula (Grammostola rosea), also known as the Chilean flame tarantula. (John C. Abbott)
All spiders secrete silk from their abdomens, but it now appears that tarantulas can also shoot silk from their feet. Researchers in Britain turned tarantula glass tanks sideways, shook them and found nearly invisible silk threads that slipping spiders had deployed to hang on.
"Box Jellyfish Use Terrestrial Visual Cues for Navigation," Anders Garm et al., Current Biology, April 28, 2011
"The hummingbird tongue is a fluid trap, not a capillary tube," Alejandro Rico-Guevara and Margaret A. Rubega, PNAS, May 2, 2011
"Tarantulas cling to smooth vertical surfaces by secreting silk from their feet," F. Claire Rind et al., Journal of Experimental Biology, June 1, 2011
"Diet of Paranthropus boisei in the early Pleistocene of East Africa," Thure E. Cerling et al., PNAS, May 2, 2011
"Fatal attacks by American black bear on people: 1900–2009," Stephen Herrero et al., Journal of Wildlife Management, May 11, 2011