Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Harry Potter's "spider"

Ah, the wonders of diversity. Billions of years of evolution, the tree of life branching, branching, branching. Countless branches becoming extinct, but others flourishing, sending out new shoots, filling very conceivable habitat.

And always surprises.

Herewith, another creature, a first for us on this little island. An amblypygid. Also called a whip-spider. Or tailless whip scorpion. Although not exactly a spider or a scorpion, of which we have plenty.

Amblypygid means "blunt rump."

Remember the bat cave and the boa. Here is Mr. Blunt Rump (or is it Mrs.?), found on the same expedition, in the same cave, clinging to a damp wall. In the dark. As big as one's hand. A scary looking thing. No idea what it was until we got home to the internet.

Feeling around in the dark with its front legs. Having sex in a yet another ingenious way. Occasionally molting.

Why am I boring you with this menagerie of creatures?

The story here is not the creatures. The story is nature's inexhaustible capacity to surprise. The prodigiousness of life. The teeming sea of creaturedom in which we swim. Gape. Gasp. The fullness! The fullness!
Doot doo doo doo
Wondrous apparition provided by magician
Doot doot doot lookin' out my back door

(Photo by son-in-law Mark West.)