When a National Park Service building in Southeast Alaska started germinating fleece, it appeared to be something straight out of a B-rated Sci-Fi flick featuring the Wolf Man . Upon closer investigation, concepts went even creepier.
Arachnophobes beware: this is about to get dicey. The fur-like strands turned out to be moving, living … legs. And not just any legs. Hundreds of sinister, crawly limbs belonging to a spider-looking mortal, the father long-legs. Across social media, the photos have been shared thousands of meters with equal quantities of intrigue and hatred. It’s easy to appreciate why- it actually looks like long, coarse, brownish-black fuzzs are flourishing out of the building’s cracks.
But look closely and you can actually realise the insignificant circular figures deeming each situated of eight legs together. We had to know: Is this type of phobia-inducing collection behavior all that common? Apparently, yes.
“They might knot together like this for shelter or for chase, but the effects is superb and perfect for this day, ” wrote Glacier Bay National Park in a Facebook upright.
An Opiliones by any other call( including harvestmen, shepherd spiders, and grandfather graybeards) are not to be a spider, even though they resemble arachnids. Mostly active at night, the harvestmen are seen in large-scale assembles during the transgression( right around harvest time) during the day, merely to disband in the hundreds as soon as darknes comes. Unlike spiders, daddy long-legs don’t have silk spinnerets for entwine web. Rather, it is an opportunistic hunter that feeds on a variety of target, as long as it’s small-minded enough to fit in their teeny tiny crab-like speaks, including soft-bodied insects like slugs, snails, leaf beetle larvae, and decomposing organic materials. As if that’s not icky fairly, they likewise have special glands for a justification that produces strong-smelling secretions to ward off predators( ew ). Oh, yeah, and their attentions are on their backs( WTF ?!).
In all integrity, harvestmen sort of get a bad rap. They cannot bite humans( phew) and actually don’t even induce venom, despite numerous urban tales saying they are the most poison spider in the world. And hey, it’s kind of cute that they all stick together, right?