Sunday, December 12, 2010

This Will Give You Nightmares...!

Just when you thought that nothing else could make you nervous, this comes along!

I mean, this thing is UGLY! Not only UGLY, but looks pretty mean as well! Sorta reminds me of one of my ex-MIL's, ya know?

In all fairness to the bug, at least it lives in caves and isn't out running free and terrorizing poor innocent guys like me! Still, this thing is some kinda scary!

Animal with venom-filled claws discovered in Yosemite

The new species is a type of 'pseudoscorpion,' meaning it has traits that make it half-scorpion, half-spider.
By Bryan NelsonThu, Dec 02 2010 at 3:22 AM EST

New species of pseudoscorpion ARACHNOPHOBIA: Pseudoscorpions have bodies and legs like spiders, but claws like scorpions. (Photo from Texas Tech University video) Researchers have discovered a new half-scorpion, half-spider animal lurking in the dark caves of Yosemite National Park, according to Texas Tech University News.

The creature is a type of pseudoscorpion, tiny arachnids that have abdomens like spiders with eight spidery legs and claws like scorpions. Unlike real scorpions, these creatures lack a long post-abdomen stinger. Normally that would be good news, but this new species makes up for it with the addition of venom-filled claws.

Luckily the new pseudoscorpion (Parobisium yosemite) is also blind, slow-moving and very small, typically measuring no longer than about half an inch. So there's no reason to jump to cancel those summer vacation plans to Yosemite just yet.

The animal is also only found deep in dark granite caves, one of the main reasons the discovery took so long.

"The canyon where it was found was made by a glacier during an ice age millions of years ago," noted James Cokendolpher, one of the researchers who documented the find. "Through time, rubble with larger rocks would fall and create piles with caves or subterranean voids. We think that’s where this animal was trapped and evolved into the species that it is now."

Cokendolpher also said that finding the pseudoscorpion in granite caves was particularly unusual because most cave-dwelling species live in limestone caves, where better humidity and access to food makes the environment more hospitable. The new species is probably only the second pseudoscorpion ever found in a granite enclosure.

Even though they are harmless to humans, the way these tiny predatory arachnids hunt is eerie nonetheless.

"We kept them in petri dishes with plaster of Paris that was moistened so it was more like cave conditions," Cokendolpher explained to the Texas Tech University News. "When we introduced other animals into the petri dish it would go over and tap the animal [with its venom-filled claws]. When it did that, it was able to sense chemical cues there such as identification, how large the item was and whether it was something suitable to eat."

At the very least, it's enough to make even seasoned spelunkers think twice about any tap-tap they might encounter while exploring in the dark.

Now, folks, I have to be honest with you here! I don't care just how small this critter is, but if I see one close...then I'm going to make a new exit out of that cave or where ever else I'm at! As it is, I'm probably going to shake my boots out twice the next time I go to put them on! Just in case they have mistaken those boots for a cave in Yosemite, ya know? No need to take chances, I figure!

I may have trouble sleeping tonight with that image fresh in my brain! Not the bug, but the ex-mother-in-law! Scary!

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside for a bit. Just watch for the creepy-crawlies, OK?


Kellie said...

I have some entomology friends I'd like to pass this on to, do you have a link? I couldn't find one on your post. thanks!!!

HermitJim said...

Hey Kellie...
Here is the link to that story! Sorry I didn't put it in the post!

Hope that helps a bit!

Thanks for coming by today!

Anonymous said...

Nasty little thing! I´m really happy we have no caves around here where they can find something like that :-) :-)

Have a great day now!

HermitJim said...

Hey Christer...
Just what you need running around in your bog, right?

I'm glad you don't have these little critters there either!

Thanks, my friend, for coming by today!

Ben in Texas said...

Well, not going to lose any sleep over it, cause in the first place you ain't gettin me down in no hole in the ground!

Looking at the picture the tail looks like a crawdad,, maybe we need to tell the Cajuns it good eating.. That should pretty much guarantee they'd be wiped out pretty quick!!

chinasyndrome said...

HJ, nasty looking critter for sure!


Momlady said...

Ewww! Gives me the creeps just looking at it. I don't mind spiders but I don't like scorpions (especially when I find them in the bathtub). Glad there aren't any around here!

HermitJim said...

Hey Ben...
That critter just looks all messed up every way you look at him!

I sure don't want to find one in my sleeping bag!

Thanks buddy, for coming by today!

Hey China...
Sure does get your attention, doesn't it?

Just imagine waking up and finding one of these in bed with you!

Hey, buddy, thanks for coming by today!

Hey Momlady...
I can see where finding one in the bath tub would NOT be a good thing!

Like I said, sure is an ugly critter!

Thanks, my friend, for coming by today!

Dizzy-Dick said...

I use to dump my shoes and boots out before putting them on, and have dumped out a scorpion a couple of times, once in an upstairs engineering office when I went to put on my work boots. Have got out of the practice, even with shoes I leave out on my screened porch.

HermitJim said...

Hey Dizzy...
Maybe this will help you get back in the habit!

You probably don't have any critters like this on your place, though! Still...

Thanks, my friend, for coming by today!

Rae said...

I wouldn't want to run into one those either. You are right - MIL's are pretty scary too - at least mine was.

HermitJim said...

Hey Rae...
It is one nasty looking bug, isn't it?

It may be harmless, but probably could make you hurt yourself!

Thanks so much for coming by today, my friend!

Mechanic in Illinois said...

I think we should send a colony of those to Congress and the White House, although if they bite the politicians they'll probably die. Thanks for another great story. I hope your weather is better then here, its blowing snow with 30 mph winds and about 10 degrees. Have a great sunday.

Bob Mc said...

Makes you wonder how many other as yet undiscovered species there are in this old world.

HermitJim said...

Hey Mechanic...
We would probably have the SPCA after us if we did that!

Besides, I don't think the bugs would like the taste!

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Bob...
So many more mysteries out there than we could imagine!

It would be an interesting study to undertake.

I appreciate you coming by today!

Ashley said...

Two words: Photo Opportunity!!!

Who's with me?