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Thread: Meet the happy-faced spider

  1. #1
    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Default Meet the happy-faced spider

    This amazing happy-faced spider found in Hawaii is bound to leave you beaming from ear to ear.
    The tiny insect, which measures just a few millimetres across, has developed bizarre markings which look just like a smiling face.
    Scientists think the spider, which is harmless to humans, has evolved the patterns to confuse predators.

    This tiny spider has developed markings that look like a smiling face

    But it's no laughing matter for the spider which is under-threat from extinction from its home in the rainforests of the Hawaiian island chain in the Pacific ocean.
    Spider expert and geneticist Dr Geoff Oxford, 62, from the University of York, said studying happy-face spiders was a real joy.
    He said: 'I must admit when I turned over the first leaf and saw one it certainly brought a smile to my face.
    'There are various theories as to why the spider has developed the markings it has, one of these that it may be to confuse predators.
    'When a bird or other predator first sees a prey item it has not seen before there is a moment before it decides whether to eat it or not.
    'It may be that this spider has developed these variations to take advantage of this, in the moment the predator is deciding if it is food it may have the chance to escape.
    'I don't think the smiling face is enough to put off a bird though, but it would be nice to think so.
    'Not all happy-face spiders have such striking markings, and some are nearly all orange or all blue.'
    Dr Oxford, who has been studying the spiders since 1993, said that the unusual markings of the arachnid had made them an ambassador for all of Hawaii's threatened wildlife.

    He said: 'They are ambassadors for all the threatened invertebrates, insects and spiders on Hawaii.
    'Conservationists are using them to highlight the plight of native species and you can't go far on the islands without seeing them on T-shirts, baseball caps and post cards.'
    Hawaiian fauna is being threatened by the human-imported species of animals and plants that establish there each year.
    Most of the plants and animals in lowland areas of Hawaii are now non-native.

    Meet the happy-faced spider sure to make you smile | Mail Online

  2. #2
    Elite Member JuicyLucy's Avatar
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    That's one cute spider!
    Dont Feed The Models
    JuicyLucy

  3. #3
    Elite Member angelais's Avatar
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    That's crazy. Nature is quite bizarre at times, isn't it?
    Did you know that an anagram for "Conscious Uncoupling" is "Iconic Uncool Pus Guns"? - MohandasKGanja

  4. #4
    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    Cute or not that is one spider that would be dead dead dead. Squash. LOL.

  5. #5
    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    ^Agreed!

    Kinda cool looking, but still don't want it around me.

  6. #6
    Elite Member Quazar's Avatar
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    Yeah, it's interesting....splat.

  7. #7
    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelais View Post
    That's crazy. Nature is quite bizarre at times, isn't it?
    Yes it is! I think he's cute. I could never kill him.

  8. #8
    Elite Member sparkly's Avatar
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    I never thought I would say a spider is cute, but it is!
    Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

  9. #9
    Gold Member ArmyWifey's Avatar
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    I have a large scar from a spider bite I got in Hawaii-lots of pain-no thanks.
    Id rather be hated for who I am than loved for who Im not

  10. #10
    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    I never kill spiders...I'm scared of them, but I never kill them.

  11. #11
    Elite Member lisalucy69's Avatar
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    I don't care if he's smiling or not, he's gonna get the shoe.

    Happy trails to you...until we meet again.
    I love & miss you Dad.

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