Thursday, May 7, 2015

Clumsy Spiders? Clumsy Science?

                This just in! From the Journal of Experimental Biology (sounds a little “Third Reichish” for my tastes) comes results of a study to determine how global warming affects spider locomotion. I don’t want to keep you waiting breathlessly, so let’s get right to the findings, shall we?
                You could probably have guessed that previous studies have found that global warming will indeed have a profound effect on spiders. There will be lots more of them! Yes, researchers claim warmer weather will lead to more spiders… and bigger ones! They also believe that a warming planet will “likely” have the effect of making poisonous spiders more common. Of course.
                But the new study claims that spiders will get faster, too. Since spiders rely on fluid to move their (previously) little limbs, researchers for the study wanted to test how temperature changes their ability to move. They found that at 59 degrees Fahrenheit, the spiders moved no faster than 20 centimeters a second. At the highest temperature tested, however, they nearly tripled that speed. Yet, they weren’t taking bigger steps…just more of them. They went from four steps a second to a high of ten steps a second.
              This led to the study’s second blockbuster finding: the higher temperatures made the spiders clumsier.  The researchers posit that the fluid that controls their limb movement just can’t keep up with the high speeds that come with high temperatures. Therefore, the arachnid’s joints weren’t as coordinated as they were at lower temperatures.
                This reporter felt it his duty to make you all aware of the nightmare that’s surely coming: throngs of rapidly traveling spiders pin-balling off each other and careening drunkenly off of inanimate objects all around.
                Come to think of it, just watching Daddy-Long-Legs spiders tumble all over will be worth the price of admission!
                Yes, scientists say we are soon to face an onslaught unlike any other. Earth will essentially become one big arachnid mosh pit.

 So be on the lookout for vast hordes of giant, poisonous spiders. They will be moving fast.

And stumbling into everything in sight.


No comments:

Post a Comment