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Skyline - Houston, Texas

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Snakes and Spiders I have known - and some I'm glad I haven't

Some years ago Jim Stafford/Ray Stevens had a popular song whose chorus described the phobias of many people:

"I don't like spiders and snakes
And that ain't what it takes to love me..."

Last year both Granny and I published posts about snakes and we found that several of our friends were not fond of snakes. On the whole I am tolerant of the animals of both species but am wary of poisonous creatures. Other than avoiding dangerous snakes and spiders (or kill them if they invade my family's space), I have a live and let live philosophy regarding them. I used to remove Queen Diamond, my daughter's white kneed tarantula, from her habitat when it was cleaning time; ditto for the 5' Burmese python named Buddy (who grew to 10' before son-in-law got rid of it). However, there are a few spiders to which I have an unreasoning aversion.
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Latona - Brazilan White Knee Tarantula
Photo © Penny Carter
Latona - Brazilan White Knee Tarantula (Acanthoscurria Geniculata)
A tarantula like Queen Diamond. She was young and her leg span was only about 4". Mature specimens can have a 6" to 8.5" leg span. In addition to fangs which can inflict a painful bite, tarantulas have toxic hairs on their abdomens that they can fling with their hind legs.
"The urticating hairs of the Brazilian Giant White Knee Tarantula (Acanthoscurria geniculata), native to Brazil, are moderately irritating.This species is relatively large, with a leg span of up to 8.5 inches. Unlike many of the larger terrestrial tarantulas, it is very colourful in its appearance, due to the brilliant white stripes that are present on its leg joints."

Tarantulas have an exoskeleton that they must shed as they grow. The molting process is an interesting procedure.
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Burmese Python like "Buddy". They love to curl up in a water bowl or swim in the bath tub. Wikipedia says, "The Burmese python is one of the largest of all snakes, growing up to (23 feet) and weighing up to (200 pounds)[1]. A Burmese Python at Serpent Safari Park in Gurnee, Illinois, USA holds the record for heaviest living snake. As of 2005, it weighs (403 lb) at a length of (27 ft)." Buddy was 5' long when my daughter and son-in-law got him and over 10' long when Wes sold him. I handled the creature but was ever aware of how powerful he was. After he attained a certain size I refused to handle him and began to hound Wes to get him out of the house where my daughter and grandson lived. Pythons 8' and larger have been known to kill their adult male owners. Snakes may be docile pets most of the time and tolerate handling but they do NOT bond with their owners like Fido or Kitty! They do NOT love you.

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Spiders I do not wish to know and darned sure would never handle as I did Queen Diamond!
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Goliath or Bird Eating Spider. The creature is the reddish/brown item on the limb.






The urticating hairs on tarantulas such as the Goliath Birdeater (Theraphosa blondi), the largest spider in the world, are far more severe. These hairs can result in painful rashes and have been compared to sharp shards of fibreglass.


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A spider that I am very glad is now extinct. It was HUGE and lived during dino times. Megarachnae -Mesothelae

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Artist's rendition of prehistoric spider coming from burrow to prey on lizard-like creature.

And while we're on prehistoric creepy-crawlies, how about a scorpion as big as a small car??

One Giant Bug
comparative size to 6' human
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So the next time you want to squash a bug, remember its ancestors.

COMMENTS:
Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

And all this time I thought you were a normal Lady!:)

Snakes and I have a live and let live agreement too. Stay the hell out of my way, and I'll let you live. I know so few are harmful, but I don't trust anything without feet that can move faster than I can - and do it while going around countless "S" curves!! Dan+One snake of ANY size=instant sissy.:)

Thursday, March 20, 2008 12:26:00 AM

Blogger Worried American said...

Hi, Dan'l! Normal lady? Ofcourse I'm normal - just a tad eccentric, perhaps. I co-exist fairly peacefully with most creatures with whom I share this planet. Even humans. Some I avoid if I don't care for closer acquaintance. Even humans. :-)

Thursday, March 20, 2008 7:16:00 PM

PS: I think most of our readers "don't like spiders and snakes". Actually, I prefer honey bees.

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3 Comments:

  • At Thursday, March 20, 2008 12:26:00 AM , Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

    And all this time I thought you were a normal Lady!:)

    Snakes and I have a live and let live agreement too. Stay the hell out of my way, and I'll let you live. I know so few are harmful, but I don't trust anything without feet that can move faster than I can - and do it while going around countless "S" curves!! Dan+One snake of ANY size=instant sissy.:)

     
  • At Thursday, March 20, 2008 7:16:00 PM , Blogger Worried American said...

    Hi, Dan'l! Normal lady? Ofcourse I'm normal - just a tad eccentric, perhaps. I co-exist fairly peacefully with most creatures with whom I share this planet. Even humans. Some I avoid if I don't care for closer acquaintance. Even humans. :-)

     
  • At Friday, August 27, 2010 11:14:00 AM , Blogger peter said...

    Snakes and spiders are curiously, the nightmare of many people who suffer phobias. In my case only cockroaches awake that phobia. I have phobia and fear of not being able to perform well in bed with my girlfriend, that is why I use Viagra Online.

     

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