arachnid

9 Stories

Your Fear May Make This Spider Look Huge

Arachnophobia may boost people's size estimates

(Newser) - When Noga Cohen, a grad student at Israel's Ben-Gurion University, spotted a spider one day, arachnophobe and fellow student Tali Leibovich freaked out about its size. Cohen thought that odd, because the eight-legged arachnid looked tiny to her, reports Live Science . And so a study was born. They set... More »

'Spooky' Quarter-Mile Spider Web Stuns US Suburb

Visitors come to marvel at silky creation

(Newser) - Most people aren't crazy about spiders—but sightseers are finding time to visit an enormous spider web spanning hundreds of feet of trees in a Dallas suburb, WFTV reports. "I've never seen anything like this," a man there with his grandchildren tells WFAA . "I think... More »

Singer Discovers Tiny Spider in Her Ear

Katie Melua had unwittingly hosted critter for a week

(Newser) - Georgian-British singer Katie Melua went to the doctor complaining of a repetitive shuffling noise in her ear and worried there was something wrong with her hearing. Closer inspection revealed she'd been housing a tiny spider for a week—likely having come from a pair of earbuds she likes to... More »

Daddy Longlegs Once Had 4 Eyes

Fossil reveals an extra pair

(Newser) - As if they couldn't get any creepier, the arachnids we all know today as daddy longlegs once had not just one pair of eyes but two. Researchers say a 305-million-year-old fossil discovered in France says a lot about the evolutionary history of the critters, which presently have one set... More »

Look Out Black Widow, Here Comes Brown Widow

Less toxic rivals may be taking over in West

(Newser) - Good news: You may now be slightly less likely to find a black widow spider hiding in your shoe. Researchers discovered that the deadly arachnid is being crowded out of swaths of its native US territory by a new creepy crawler to the scene—the brown widow, reports LiveScience . The... More »

Spider Silk Discovery Opens Way to Super Matter

Method may "make it possible to build bricks from straw'

(Newser) - Spider silk is yielding secrets that could pave the way for incredibly strong building materials, researchers say. MIT scientists found that the silk uses a unique crystal structure that makes it both strong and able to bend without breaking. They believe it is possible to copy that structure to turn... More »

Killer Spiders Invade Sydney

Warm weather blamed for influx of funnel-webs

(Newser) - A heavy infestation of funnel-web spiders is giving Sydney residents the jitters. Experts say the spider—one of the deadliest and most aggressive in existence—is arriving in unusually large numbers because of warm and wet weather. The spider's bite can be fatal within two hours, although no Australians have... More »

World's Biggest Web-Spinning Spidey Found

Rare African orb-weaver spins 3-foot webs

(Newser) - A gargantuan new species of orb-weaving arachnid found in South Africa is the biggest web-spinning spider ever discovered, scientists say. The female Nephila komaci has a leg span bigger than a man's hand and spins webs more than 3 feet wide, the BBC reports. Arachnophobes will be glad to hear... More »

Scientists Build a Better Web—by Adding Metal

(Newser) - Scientists have combined spider silk with metal atoms to boost web strands' already-phenomenal strength, reports Ars Technica. The breakthrough experiment advances the science of creating ever-stronger materials, as well discovering a successful method to bond metal to biological material. Experiments are already under way to make chicken eggs stronger. More »

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