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Some spiders work and hunt in groups.
May 13, 2012 7:37 AM   Subscribe

The deadly social web: Anelosimus eximius, also known as the South American Social Spider, are spiders that work together to repair webs and capture and kill prey much larger than any single spider.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (58 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm reminded of a Discovery Channel special regarding future possibilities of life, including a race of superintelligent arachnids which herd the last mammals as a food source. Hold me.
posted by Renoroc at 7:47 AM on May 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


The rise of spider communism is a historical inevitability.
posted by The Whelk at 7:48 AM on May 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


Flagged as many-eyed eldritch horror on innumerable chittering legs.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:56 AM on May 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm reminded of a Discovery Channel special regarding future possibilities of life, including a race of superintelligent arachnids which herd the last mammals as a food source. Hold me.

The Future is Wild, yeah.
posted by curious nu at 7:58 AM on May 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


No kings, no gods, no flyswatters
posted by The Whelk at 8:01 AM on May 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


Okay, please nobody tell the spider-buddies of this guy, the single spider calmly eating a snake.
A few times the snake managed to get up and attack the spider, and the spider would run back up the web.

"I would have put my money on the snake for sure, especially seeing how big it was."

Mr Hadleigh estimated the tree snake to be around half a metre long and was alive for "an hour or more" after being caught in the spider's web, before finally succumbing to the crafty arachnid's venom.
posted by argonauta at 8:05 AM on May 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Future is Wild, yeah.

Arguments about evolution in YouTube comments make the prospect of being devoured by collectivist spiders seem... not so bad.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 8:06 AM on May 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


well this is terrifying
posted by the theory of revolution at 8:07 AM on May 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Seriously, that's what happened. I don't think I got enough sleep last night.)
posted by Flunkie at 8:16 AM on May 13, 2012 [14 favorites]


And I used to think that Slenderman was terrifying.
posted by hippybear at 8:17 AM on May 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always love the foley sounds these shows put in. The hundreds of skittering spider-leg sounds are ace.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:20 AM on May 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


This is how I imagine my front yard looking on Halloween.

Someday.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:22 AM on May 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Commie spiders got all excited about this world wide web thing and then were bitterly disappointed.
posted by The Whelk at 8:25 AM on May 13, 2012 [12 favorites]


The rallying cry of the flagship organization of arachno-syndicalism, the Ecumenical Webweavers of the World (EWW, aka "the Weblies"): "Webweavers of the World, Unite!"
posted by drlith at 8:29 AM on May 13, 2012 [14 favorites]


Before we start imagining a world dominating communist society of spider monsters, we need to ask: what clothing do these communist spider monsters wear? My guess is eight little knit booties, green visors over their ocelli, and vests on their cephalothorax, but are these vests knit, I just imagine them taking naturally to knits, spider silk jersey knits in particular, but what about their opisthosoma, does that go naked, or do they wear something like overalls with a butt flap, are they also knit, so more like pajamas? Maybe I'm going about it all the wrong way, maybe their protein gland expressions are exclusively reserved for construction and containment, to wear such would seem wrong, so maybe they prefer togas made of found materials, or maybe still knits, but perhaps wools, or cotton. There are a lot of questions raised here.
posted by TwelveTwo at 8:45 AM on May 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


It's OK. My 15th level Paladin, the Summer Knight, totally killed Lolth back in 1985.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:46 AM on May 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


Social spiders don't just work together to catch prey larger than any one spider to hope to capture. Delena cancerides individuals care for their young. Not only that, but there is evidence that older siblings will care for younger siblings when mum goes out to hunt. Now say it with me... "AWWWWWWWWW"!

Noice work Brandon Blatcher - I knew you were one of us!
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace at 8:46 AM on May 13, 2012 [7 favorites]



Noice work Brandon Blatcher - I knew you were one of us!

way to out yourself as a giant spider there Alice.
posted by The Whelk at 8:49 AM on May 13, 2012 [26 favorites]


This is also true for some clowns.
posted by munchingzombie at 8:53 AM on May 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


The spirit of "all for one and one for all" succeeds better, evolutionarily, if the "all" being served share most of their genes. In social crab spiders, scientists were surprised to find that the family group will accept nonrelative but same-species crab spiders. The colony hunts with these outsiders and offers them asylum in the nest, a seeming violation of evolutionary rules.

The apparent altruism turns out to serve a purpose, however. When food is scarce, crab spiders eat these immigrants rather than their own siblings, Evans reported in the Feb. 7 Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B.


Finally! An immigration platform Republicans can get behind!
posted by bswinburn at 8:54 AM on May 13, 2012 [10 favorites]


My loyalties lie with the Two Legs, not Eight, unlike some people.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:00 AM on May 13, 2012


My loyalties lie with the Two Legs, not Eight, unlike some people.

Well, now you're just being bipedanormative.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:03 AM on May 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


My loyalties lie with the Two Legs, not Eight, unlike some people.

Three-Horns never play with Longnecks.
posted by curious nu at 9:04 AM on May 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Way to out yourself as a giant spider there Alice.

Oh hell, the secret's out (runs away on eight nimble feet).
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace at 9:15 AM on May 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


tbh I usually just assume anyone Australian is really just a giant spider in a people suit.
posted by elizardbits at 9:31 AM on May 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


That's a little presumptuous of you - as this post illustrates, they may just be millions of tiny spiders operating a humanoid shell.
posted by Dr Dracator at 9:34 AM on May 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


tbh I usually just assume anyone Australian is really just a giant spider in a people suit.

That's a little unfair. Sometimes they're a shark in a people suit.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:41 AM on May 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


oh god millions of tiny spiders in a shark suit

NO
posted by elizardbits at 9:44 AM on May 13, 2012 [11 favorites]


what you never saw the after-the-credits twist in Jaws?
posted by shakespeherian at 10:00 AM on May 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Reminds me of Twitter.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:10 AM on May 13, 2012


I always love the foley sounds these shows put in. The hundreds of skittering spider-leg sounds are ace.

David Attenborough makes all those sounds with his mouth.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:20 AM on May 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


yeah, they even did in the Doc
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:25 AM on May 13, 2012


Gary Larson was saw them coming.
posted by peeedro at 10:25 AM on May 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Apropos: http://www.cryptomundo.com/cryptozoo-news/chicken-eater/
posted by clvrmnky at 10:49 AM on May 13, 2012


"Millions of Tiny Spiders in a Shark Suit" is going to be the name of my band.
posted by byanyothername at 10:51 AM on May 13, 2012


Delena cancerides

– I thought you told me I was going on a Ride for Cancer
– Just sit still, will you?
posted by zippy at 11:10 AM on May 13, 2012


@byanyothername: No no, this is metafilter. Is the name of my band is a twitter thing. Here it is:

Metafilter: Millions of Tiny Spiders in a Shark Suit

;)
posted by Canageek at 11:13 AM on May 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Two legs good, eight legs better!
posted by indubitable at 11:31 AM on May 13, 2012


I'll be over at MetaTalk composing a request that we ban all videos of spiders the size of my hand eating snakes.
posted by fshgrl at 11:42 AM on May 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


We.Are.Fucked.
posted by New England Cultist at 11:49 AM on May 13, 2012


These guys are just a vat full of growth hormone away from reenacting one of those '50s giant spider movies, yikes.
posted by Iosephus at 11:55 AM on May 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll be over at MetaTalk composing a request that we ban all videos of spiders the size of my hand eating snakes.

I clicked on that link. And then I thought, "what the hell am I doing?"
posted by endless_forms at 12:01 PM on May 13, 2012


I love spiders!! Without them, our planet would suck!
posted by pixienat at 12:22 PM on May 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: Millions of Tiny Spiders in a Shark Suit

Oh, no, no, that's still the band. The MetaFilter thing is:

MetaFilter: hundreds of skittering spider-leg sounds David Attenborough makes with his mouth.
posted by byanyothername at 12:56 PM on May 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


When I watch a video such as the tiny spiders trapping and eating a huge cricket, I wonder whether the film crew throws the cricket onto the web for filming purposes, or whether they just wait for it to happen naturally.
posted by dov3 at 1:03 PM on May 13, 2012


I wonder whether the film crew throws the cricket onto the web for filming purposes

It wouldn't be the first time a film crew messed with the animals.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:12 PM on May 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Google nostalgia chick and Milo And Otis and prepare to be horrified.
posted by The Whelk at 3:15 PM on May 13, 2012


I'm reminded of a Discovery Channel special regarding future possibilities of life, including a race of superintelligent arachnids which herd the last mammals as a food source. Hold me.

Oh, we will hold you, indeed. We will hold you fast in our legs legs legs legs.....

Come a little closer to the monitor, warm body, just a bit closer.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:52 PM on May 13, 2012


Spiders are so misunderstood
posted by The Whelk at 3:57 PM on May 13, 2012


Have you hugged a spider today?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:07 PM on May 13, 2012


I tried to hug Spider Jerusalem and he blow my kneecaps out with a repurposed sonic sex toy.
posted by The Whelk at 4:09 PM on May 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


WAIT there is a social huntsman that lives in colonies? We used the other bathroom for a week when we had ONE huntsman. Three hundred - that's a lot of huge, fast-moving, hairy spiders. (Also I am sure there's a 300/Frank Miller/Leonidas joke in there somewhere but I can't quite find it.)
posted by gingerest at 4:49 PM on May 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


That was probably an scout, testing defenses.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:34 PM on May 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorry for the "an", was only supposed to suggest one spider, not the truth.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:43 PM on May 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not scouts emissaries spreading the truth of the one whole spider collective. Weave with me my brothers.
posted by The Whelk at 5:52 PM on May 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Social spiders are not the only spiders to care for their young. Wolf spiders pack their babies on their backs. And another arachnid, the scorpion carries her young on her back.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 5:36 AM on May 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thing is that ALL spiders have a pre-adaptation to sociality (due to the fact that they live together in the eggsac between hatching out of their eggs and their first molt. Even Australian funnel web spider females care for their offspring for a time.
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace at 5:59 PM on May 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


so what you're saying is there is no escape
posted by The Whelk at 6:33 PM on May 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


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