by Jackie Lebouitz
It’s just about that time of year again when the public dresses up in a variety of quirky and bizarre costumes with the intent of receiving the sugary confection known as candy.
Ah, Halloween. Please take a moment to lift your eyes from the monitor and take in a breath of fresh Halloween air.
Refreshing, wasn’t it?
Well, today, I’d like to give this blog a focus on one of Halloween’s most notable mascots – the spider. While spiders have a reputation for being creepy, it’s important to understand that looking a certain way doesn’t make something automatically dangerous. In fact, spiders have a long history of being pretty cool. Apart from keeping to themselves, they have an important role in controlling the populations of a lot of insect species. They especially like to tear into some tasty mosquito-meat. Before you say, “ya mosquitoes are dumb but like spiders can kill u,” please note that mosquitoes are accountable for over 725,000 annual deaths worldwide*. Spiders, though? Naw, man. A 2008 paper reported an average of only 6.5 people in the U.S. dead as a result of spider bites. Other countries are seeing similar statistics. In Australia, a group of scientists followed 750 cases and found that there hasn’t been a single death caused by spider venom since 1979. That being said, spiders can bite if provoked (though it’s certainly not their first mode of defense), and if you’re noticing a severe reaction, you should probably get that checked out by a medical professional.
But in other news, check out this SWEET ORBWEAVER that changes color in the fall! It’s commonly known as the Halloween spider.
And in other, other news, we have two new additions to the biology department – Matilda and Crystal.
These lovely ladies were a donation from Zoe Wolfe and her mom. Matilda is currently taking up residence in Chris Smith’s office, while Crystal’s new home is a couple doors down at Kim Wills’. They can both be found on the first floor of Stanley Hall, so definitely take the chance to visit!
*Mosquitoes are vectors for various diseases such as malaria and dengue, which are the REAL cause of death here.