Thursday, April 06, 2006

inner dork: spiders and their sleep patterns

Did you know...

A spider is not considered to be a bug or an insect. Bugs have six legs and three body parts while a spider has eight legs and only two body parts.

A spider is an arachnid, a family of air-breathing invertebrates that includes scorpions and ticks.

Do insects sleep?

Scientists can't agree as to whether true insects sleep or not.
Some argue that since they don't have eyelids therefore not being able to close their eyes they can't technically, "sleep."
They claim only mammals sleep.
However, others claim that all bugs, insects and arachnids have times throughout the day of inactivity and that this should be considered their sleep or nappy time.

The moth on the other hand is not active during the day and will tuck its antennae under its wings. Even when poked it won't move. (Sound sleeper.)
Honey bees display similar behavior at night taking in a night of deep and restful zzz's

Most scientists have come to the conclusion that insects, spiders and bugs do actually sleep. Seeing as how the typical spider has eight eyes, it's a good thing it doesn't have eye lids. (ew, just freaked myself out a little)

Factoids:

The safe looking daddy longlegs is more venomous than the black widow. The reason it is so safe? It can't open its jaws wide enough to bite a human. (I just picture this poor little spider struggling to open its jaws)

Silk from a spider's web is five times stronger than steel.

NASA scientists studied the effects of marijuana, speed, caffeine and sleeping pills on spiders.
On marijuana: the spiders quit spinning their webs half way through the process.
Speed: they spun their webs very quickly, but there were large holes in them.
caffeine: only spun a random few strands and those on sleeping pills, well they never even gave it a try.

2 comments:

Jay said...

Though several days late and at least $1.72 short, here is Jay's "Outer Dork"!


Arachnophobia is defined as an inordinate fear of spiders. This phobia can often be triggered by the thought of or sometimes even a picture of a spider. A serious case of arachnophobia is much different than someone who doesn't like spiders. Many people who are afraid of spiders have feelings of panic entering into a situation where spiders may be present.

This fear of spiders can dictate where someone chooses to live, go on vacation, work or what sports or hobbies are enjoyed. Symptoms may include excessive sweating or clamminess, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, nausea and dizziness.

Often this fear is caused by an incident earlier in life which was frightening. People sometimes have the misconception that such a frightening event would have to be a long-lasting or memorable ordeal. Many people don't even remember the events which led to their phobia. The mind can create a phobia based on an instant of panic. One patient in the Washington area, "Miss Muffet", was so fearful of spiders, she scrubbed her car twice a day and left a burning cigarette in the car's ashtray because she believed the smoke would keep spiders away. She examined her room thoroughly every night, would duct tape her windows shut, and stick a towel in the crack under her door before she would go to sleep. She washed her clothes and immediately ironed them and put them in Ziplock bags to make sure there were no spiders in her clothing.


Factoid: Arachne is the Greek root word from which we get "Arachnid". In Greek mythology, Arachne was a beautiful Greek maiden.

She studied weaving under Athena, and had extraordinary skill. When her skills were later recognized, she denied any training given by Athena. Athena turned herself into a bitter, old lady. She approached Arachne, and tricked her into a weaving contest. Arachne wove portraits of the gods performing evil deeds. Athena and Arachne finished their weaving in an extremely short amount of time, but Arachne's work was much finer than Athena's. Athena was furious that a mere mortal had beaten her in a weaving contest and had portrayed the gods in a disrespectful way. Overcome with rage, she beat Arachne to the ground. Arachne was so upset, she hanged herself. Athena realized what she had done, regretted her actions, and sprinkled a magic liquid onto Arachne, turning her into a spider, so she could keep her weaving skills.

Party Girl said...

Jay, I was getting worried!
A girl must be dorked every week. EVERY week.

(okay, well that's setting the bar a tad low for me, but hey, once a week is better than never.)

Love ya, babe!