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Medicine

Adorable Whip Spiders Love to Cuddle


You never touch me anymore. Is it because you think I’m fat? Damon diadema

Scientists have recently witnessed two species of arachnids that caress family members and seem to enjoy snuggling. Two kinds of whip spiders–dime-sized Phrynus marginemaculatus found in Florida and the larger Damon diadema which live in Tanzania and Kenya–spend their days in constant tactile touch with their relatives. In one experiment, siblings were put in a cage among many other unrelated whip spiders and within minutes had gathered back together in their family group. Mothers were routinely witnessed stroking the bodies and feelers of their young.

Whip spiders are aptly named for their long whip-like feelers, which are covered in tiny sensitive hairs and can rotate 360 degrees.

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By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]