Spider venom work on one of two fundamental principles; they are either neurotoxic (attacking the nervous system) or necrotic (attacking tissues surrounding the bite, and in some cases, attacking vital organs and systems). Both sound nasty, but that’s enough of the science stuff; we’re checking our shoes before we put them on!
Brazilian Wandering Spider
In 2010, the Brazilian wandering spider was named in the Guinness World Records as the most venomous spider in the world. It is also aggressive, obviously making the chance of a bite from it more likely. It has a highly potent neurotoxin that can lead to breathing problems then asphyxiation and death in those bitten. Another effect of its venom is priapism, meaning erections that last a long time – hours to days – and can result in permanent impotence. However, the venom is being studied as a possible fix for erectile dysfunction. The spider only needs to inject 6 ug of its venom to kill a 20-gram mouse, and a full venom load is 1.069 mg. Death in humans has been known to occur even after antivenom has been administered.
Six-Eyed Sand Spider
The Six-eyed Sand Spiders‘ Genus is Sicarius, which is latin for “murderer”; a strong hint that this is a toxic beastie. One bite can kill a rabbit in just a few hours. While there are no recorded cases of human fatalities, this is one spider you should avoid. The six-eyed sand spider lives in desert areas in southern Africa, like the Kalahari and Namib deserts. It’s sometimes called the crab spider because it moves like a crab. It buries itself in the sand and waits for its victims to wander by before it strikes. The venom of the six-eyed sand spider is hemolytic/necrotoxic, which causes blood vessel leakage, tissue destruction and multi-organ breakdown. Luckily, this is one shy spider.
Sydney funnel-web spiders are among the most venomous on earth. They have large fangs and unlike some of the other very venomous spiders invariably deliver a full dose of venom instead of dry bites. They are also are more likely to bite than run away and will strike multiple times. A compound in the Sydney funnel-web’s venom called atracotoxin is very dangerous to all primates – including us! One child died within 15 minutes, but that was before the discovery of an antivenom. The funnel-web’s LD-50 is just 0.16mg/kg.
Black Widow Spider
Black widows are notorious spiders identified by the colored, hourglass-shaped mark on their abdomens. Several species answer to the name, and they are found in temperate regions around the world. This spider’s bite is much feared because its venom is reported to be 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake’s. In humans, bites produce muscle aches, nausea, and a paralysis of the diaphragm that can make breathing difficult; however, contrary to popular belief, most people who are bitten suffer no serious damage—let alone death. But bites can be fatal—usually to small children, the elderly, or the infirm. Fortunately, fatalities are fairly rare; the spiders are nonaggressive and bite only in self-defense, such as when someone accidentally sits on them.
The Red-back spider is a dangerous spider endemic to Australia. It is a member of widow family of spiders, which are found throughout the world. The female is easily recognizable by her black body with a prominent red stripe on the upper side of her abdomen. Females have a body length of about a centimeter while the male is smaller, being only 3 to 4 millimeters long. The Red-back spider is one of few arachnids which display sexual cannibalism while mating. Red-backs are considered one of the most dangerous spiders in Australia. The Red-back spider has a neurotoxic venom which is toxic to humans with bites causing severe pain. There is an anti-venom for Red-back bites which is commercially available. source
Animals and people hide things for various reasons. Animals in nature hide their young to protect them from predators. Pirates hide stolen treasure to protect it from being stolen yet again. One of the most effective ways to hide something is by camouflaging it. In this activity, you will get to explore how to use camouflauge in making art. Camouflage is the “art of concealment”. It involves disguising an object, in plain sight, in order to hide it from something or someone. We generally think of camouflage as being used during war. Soldiers often wear special camouflage clothing and smear mud on their faces at night to become less visible.
But, camouflage exists in many other forms in the natural world. Camouflage is being used to make artistic statements, beautify urban environments, make ugly cars look nicer and for shock value. These examples of unusual use of camouflage show how versatile the concept is, from making homes blend into forest environments to creating eerie optical illusion effects in photography. Artists like Emma Hack, Liu Bolin and Desiree Palmen use special techniques for their photographs that allow them to show people blended into their surroundings. Here are some amazing examples…
The name of all the continents ends with the same letter that they start with.
Albert Einstein never learned how to drive a car.
If a statue of a person in the park on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle.
If the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle.
If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
Mao Zedong of China never brush his teeth in his lifetime.
When Elizabeth-I of Russia died in 1762, there were 15,000 dresses in her closets.
During World War II, the Japanese used shark liver oil in the engines of their fighter planes.
J. P Blanchard, a Frenchman, is credited with having been the first person to use a parachute. In 1785, from a balloon high in the air, he dropped a dog in a basket to which a parachute was attached. Blanchard also claimed to have descended from a balloon in a parachute in 1793.