Author Topic: The Hive: The Malthus Bug Thread  (Read 18212 times)

HVC

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Re: The Hive: The Malthus Bug Thread
« Reply #150 on: October 06, 2016, 12:36:04 am »
Who knew there were blue bees. Below is the the blue carpenter bee.

Being lazy is bad; unless you still get what you want, then it's called "patience".
Hubris must be punished. Severely.

viper37

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Re: The Hive: The Malthus Bug Thread
« Reply #151 on: October 25, 2016, 02:14:44 pm »
I need a sig.  My kingdom for a sig!

Malthus

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Re: The Hive: The Malthus Bug Thread
« Reply #152 on: October 25, 2016, 02:29:10 pm »
Thinking of Malthus and his love for spiders :P

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/oct/24/australia-giant-spider-mouse-carry-horrifying-impressive

Holy shit!  :lol:

I bet that spider would vote Liberal. Invite him to immigrate, perhaps in a box of Australian Kiwi fruit.  :P
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane—Marcus Aurelius

HVC

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Re: The Hive: The Malthus Bug Thread
« Reply #153 on: October 25, 2016, 02:47:42 pm »
One of the good thing about cold winters is that our insects are sane. Sure we have a few things like dock spiders, but they're in the hinterlands and harmless.
Being lazy is bad; unless you still get what you want, then it's called "patience".
Hubris must be punished. Severely.

viper37

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Re: The Hive: The Malthus Bug Thread
« Reply #154 on: October 25, 2016, 10:53:15 pm »
I bet that spider would vote Liberal.
See, even you recognize the most demonic creatures are attracted by the Liberal Party!
I need a sig.  My kingdom for a sig!

garbon

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Re: The Hive: The Malthus Bug Thread
« Reply #155 on: October 26, 2016, 02:02:23 am »
One of the good thing about cold winters is that our insects are sane. Sure we have a few things like dock spiders, but they're in the hinterlands and harmless.

California ain't all that crazy and you get to avoid the cold.
"I've never been quite sure what the point of a eunuch is, if truth be told. It seems to me they're only men with the useful bits cut off."

I drank because I wanted to drown my sorrows, but now the damned things have learned to swim.

Malthus

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Re: The Hive: The Malthus Bug Thread
« Reply #156 on: October 26, 2016, 08:40:59 am »
One of the good thing about cold winters is that our insects are sane. Sure we have a few things like dock spiders, but they're in the hinterlands and harmless.

Speaking of dock spiders, there was an article about them in the Economist this week!  :D

(They call them "Dark Fishing Spiders", but it is the same species: Dolomedes tenebrosus ).

Apparently, their males have sexual habits that would do a Languishite proud.   :P

http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21709003-male-dark-fishing-spiders-sacrifice-themselves-good-their

Quote
Nature’s cruellest one-night stand

ANIMAL mating can be a cruel and unusual process. Male bedbugs inseminate females by piercing their bellies and depositing sperm inside their paramours’ body cavities. Male chimpanzees and lions kill the suckling infants of females before mating with them, as this brings those females more rapidly into oestrus. Male dolphins routinely engage in rape. Nor are aggressive mating practices perpetrated solely by males against females. In many species of insects and spiders, females eat their partners after sex.

Such cannibalism clearly brings advantage to the female, who gets an easy snack. But the benefits (if any) for the male are less obvious. That there might sometimes be such benefits, though, is an idea that intrigues zoologists—and so, from time to time, some of them look into the matter.


The latest to do so are Steven Schwartz of Gonzaga University, in the American state of Washington, and Eileen Hebets of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dr Schwartz and Dr Hebets note that, after mating, the males of one species of arachnid, the dark fishing spider, spontaneously die and thus ensure that they get eaten. This is in contradistinction to the behaviour of most male spiders, who usually attempt at least some sort of a getaway, even if it is futile. And, as the two researchers report in a forthcoming paper in Current Biology, there is, indeed, method in the male fishing spider’s suicidal madness.

Dr Schwartz and Dr Hebets came to this conclusion by collecting male and female dark fishing spiders and subjecting them to an experiment. In one group of the animals, females were allowed, as per normal, to eat their deceased partners after mating. In a second, the males’ bodies were removed and the females ate nothing. And, in a third, the males’ bodies were substituted by a cricket of about the same weight as a male spider.

Not surprisingly, the offspring of females in the first group—those allowed to cannibalise their partners—were bigger, more numerous and longer-lived than those of females in the second. But they were also bigger, more numerous and longer-lived than those of females in the third, cricket-fed group. In fact, the offspring of the third group did no better than those whose mothers had received no extra nutrients at all. Evidently, something in male fishing-spider flesh is particularly advantageous for the production and development of young.

Exactly what this something is, Dr Schwartz and Dr Hebets cannot yet say. But they do have a theory about what is going on. The fact that the male spider dies after mating, and thus makes sure his body is available as a feast for his mate, suggests the mysterious extra nutritional value of that body has evolved specifically for the purpose of nurturing the eggs that will turn into his offspring. Possibly, in the past, females have been so good at catching males that few survived to father a second brood anyway. In that case, any adaptation which enhanced the number and fitness of a male’s firstborn clutch, even at the expense of his life, would be favoured by natural selection. Whatever the truth, though, the fate of the poor male dark fishing spider is surely the cruellest and most unusual one-night stand of all.
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane—Marcus Aurelius

jimmy olsen

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Re: The Hive: The Malthus Bug Thread
« Reply #157 on: April 02, 2017, 07:20:39 pm »
Freaky  :ph34r:

Click to see some disturbing spider gifs

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/03/28/spiders-could-theoretically-eat-every-human-on-earth-in-one-year/?utm_term=.4d1f70007c65
Quote

Spiders could theoretically eat every human on Earth in one year

By Christopher Ingraham 
March 28  

Spiders are quite literally all around us. A recent entomological survey of North Carolina homes turned up spiders in 100 percent of them, including 68 percent of bathrooms and more than three-quarters of bedrooms. There's a good chance at least one spider is staring at you right now, sizing you up from a darkened corner of the room, eight eyes glistening in the shadows.

Spiders mostly eat insects, although some of the larger species have been known to snack on lizards, birds and even small mammals. Given their abundance and the voraciousness of their appetites, two European biologists recently wondered: If you were to tally up all the food eaten by the world's entire spider population in a single year, how much would it be?

Martin Nyffeler and Klaus Birkhofer published their estimate in the journal the Science of Nature earlier this month, and the number they arrived at is frankly shocking: The world's spiders consume somewhere between 400 million and 800 million tons of prey in any given year. That means that spiders eat at least as much meat as all 7 billion humans on the planet combined, who the authors note consume about 400 million tons of meat and fish each year.

Or, for a slightly more disturbing comparison: The total biomass of all adult humans on Earth is estimated to be 287 million tons. Even if you tack on another 70 million-ish tons to account for the weight of kids, it's still not equal to the total amount of food eaten by spiders in a given year, exceeding the total weight of humanity.

In other words, spiders could eat all of us and still be hungry.

To arrive at this number Nyffler and Birkhofer did a lot of sophisticated estimation based on existing research into A) how many spiders live in a square meter of land for all the main habitat types on Earth, and B) the average amount of food consumed by spiders of different sizes in a given year.

These numbers yielded some interesting factoids on their own. For instance, one study estimated that global average spider density stands at about 131 spiders per square meter. Some habitats, like deserts and tundra, are home to fewer spiders. On the other hand, spider densities of 1,000 or more individuals per square meter have been observed under certain “favorable” conditions — since Nyffler and Birkhofer don't define what “favorable” means in this context, I'm going to assume it refers to dark, dusty places like the area under my bed.

If you gathered up all the spiders on the planet and placed them on a very large scale, together they'd weigh about 25 million tons, according to Nyffler and Birkhofer. For comparison, the Titanic weighed about 52,000 tons. The mass of every spider on Earth today, in other words, is equivalent to 478 Titanics.

Spider biologists have also generally found that spiders consume approximately 10 percent of their body weight in food per day. That's equivalent to a 200-pound man eating 20 pounds of meat each day.

Conversely, it would take approximately 2,000 pounds of spiders to consume a 200-pound man in one day.

In the end, spiders' voracity actually works out to mankind's benefit. Since they primarily feast on bugs, their hunger means fewer pests in the garden, fewer mosquitoes in the yard and fewer flies in the house.

The Washington Post reached out to a spider for comment on this story. Its reply:

gif
 
It is far better for the truth to tear my flesh to pieces, then for my soul to wander through darkness in eternal damnation.

Jet: So what kind of woman is she? What's Julia like?
Faye: Ordinary. The kind of beautiful, dangerous ordinary that you just can't leave alone.
Jet: I see.
Faye: Like an angel from the underworld. Or a devil from Paradise.
--------------------------------------------
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garbon

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"I've never been quite sure what the point of a eunuch is, if truth be told. It seems to me they're only men with the useful bits cut off."

I drank because I wanted to drown my sorrows, but now the damned things have learned to swim.

Malthus

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Re: The Hive: The Malthus Bug Thread
« Reply #159 on: July 20, 2017, 07:27:14 am »
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/gallery/2017/jul/20/bees-under-the-macro-lens-in-pictures

These bees close up look really cool.

I love the bee hairdos.  :lol:

But seriously - they do look awesome.
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane—Marcus Aurelius

Valmy

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Re: The Hive: The Malthus Bug Thread
« Reply #160 on: July 20, 2017, 08:24:20 am »
Freaky  :ph34r:

It looks like spiders are the world's last hope.
If we can hit that bull's-eye, the rest of the dominoes will fall like a house of cards. Checkmate!

Valmy is practically french. :frog:

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Tonitrus

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Re: The Hive: The Malthus Bug Thread
« Reply #161 on: August 30, 2017, 11:41:48 pm »

garbon

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Re: The Hive: The Malthus Bug Thread
« Reply #162 on: July 16, 2018, 09:23:34 am »
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/16/brazilian-bird-eating-tarantulas-spider-found-in-derbyshire-car-park

Quote
Two tarantulas may be on loose after babies found in Derbyshire car park
Baby spiders were abandoned in pots and RSPCA says witness saw parents scuttling away

Two tarantulas may be on the loose in a village after three of their babies were found abandoned in a car park.

The RSPCA said it had rescued the baby Brazilian bird-eating spiders after they were found discarded in pots in Derbyshire.

Inspectors said the containers were run over by a vehicle in the village of Somercotes but the driver believes he saw two “larger spiders” possibly the parents – scuttling away.

The tarantula is thought to be the Brazilian salmon pink bird-eater, one of the world’s largest of the species with a leg span of up to 25cm.

The spiders are partially pink and usually live on the forest floor in Brazil and eat insects, lizards, mice and the occasional small bird.

Experts said the missing tarantulas may not survive long in English weather. Yet the unseasonably warm climate has led to concerns they may roam for longer than expected.

Kristy Ludlam, an RSPCA inspector, said an “understandably shaken” woman had found the baby spiders in Bateman’s Yard livery stable’s car park in Somercotes last Thursday and contacted the RSPCA as she is terrified of them.

“It appears someone ran over two of the pots and the driver told the woman who called us he thought he saw two larger spiders. No bodies were found, so it is assumed they may have escaped,” she said.

“We collected all the pots and took them to a specialist who found three baby arachnids in them, which he believes are bird-eating spiders – when he opened one pot a spider ran up his arm.

“He is keeping all the pots warm and secure as there is a possibility more eggs may hatch.”

It is an offence under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act to release or allow any non-native species to escape into the wild.

The owner of a nearby kennels and cattery said she was very worried. “Two of the workers ran around the kennels screaming when they heard the news,” said Sarah Towndrow from Birchwood boarding kennels and cattery in Birchwood Lane, near where the pots were found.

“We are getting a vet out so they can take a good look and advise us on what we need to do. We’re also all going to be searching the area to make sure they’re not here and then report it if they’re here.

“They could cause real harm to the animals here, so we will be keeping a very close eye on them. There’s a lot of places they could hide and keep out of the way so the search will be very thorough. People feel frightened and it makes the animals vulnerable.”

The rescued spiders have been taken to Arnold and Carlton veterinary centre in Nottingham where they will be cared for until they are ready to be rehomed, the RSPCA said.

"I've never been quite sure what the point of a eunuch is, if truth be told. It seems to me they're only men with the useful bits cut off."

I drank because I wanted to drown my sorrows, but now the damned things have learned to swim.

Malthus

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Re: The Hive: The Malthus Bug Thread
« Reply #163 on: July 16, 2018, 09:38:03 am »
Amusingly, they are supposed to make good pets because they are considered very docile.  :D

They can bite, of course, but will do so only as a total last resort; their bites are supposed to be painful but not dangerous. They can also flick irritating hairs into your eyes, if you hold them up to your face and they feel threatened that you will eat their soft, juicy abdomen.

The real danger is that someone will see one and have a heart attack, due to their truly ginormous size (for a spider). Their threat to humans or wildlife is basically non-existent; one cold snap and they are dead.
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane—Marcus Aurelius

Tamas

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Re: The Hive: The Malthus Bug Thread
« Reply #164 on: July 16, 2018, 09:43:07 am »
Good thing they are far away.

Shit. Even giant house spiders freak me the hell out.