Thursday, September 1, 2011

Creature Feature: Happy Face Spider.

The authoress has not had a good week. After an anxiety attack on the first day of classes and a frantic schedule readjustment, she is completely fried from senior burnout. Also, this blog was targeted for copyright infringement, which is a whole different headache.

So here's a spider with a smiley face on its rear.


No, that is not a bad Photoshop.  This may be the last time we get to say that, but that goofy face above is totally natural. Theridion grallator, AKA the "happy-face spider," is native to many of the Hawaiian islands. Yes, it is always that happy. (You would probably be happy too, if you lived on Hawaii.)

Nobody knows why this spider's rear looks like a smiley balloon. It's not intimidating enough to scare off predators, which the spider has very few of anyways. We doubt even arachnophobes are scared of this brightly-colored little guy. The types of inheritance vary from island to island, if the smiley is there at all. This is one of the few markings that seems to serve no purpose whatsoever...

...except further evidence that Mother Nature has a trollicious sense of humor.

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