The ‘puppy sized’ Goliath Birdeater Spider.

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Piotr Naskrecki was taking a nighttime walk in a rainforest in Guyana, when he heard rustling as if something were creeping underfoot.
When he turned on his flashlight, he expected to see a small mammal, such as a possum or a rat.
“When I turned on the light, I couldn’t quite understand what I was seeing,” said Naskrecki, an entomologist and photographer at Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology.
A moment later, he realized he was looking not at a brown, furry mammal, but an enormous, puppy-size spider.
Known as the South American Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi), the colossal arachnid is the world’s largest spider, according to Guinness World Records.
Its leg span can reach up to a foot (30 centimeters), or about the size of “a child’s forearm,” with a body the size of “a large fist,” Naskrecki told Live Science.
And the spider can weigh more than 6 oz. (170 grams) — about as much as a young puppy, the scientist wrote on his blog. [See Photos of the Goliath Birdeater Spider]
Some sources say the giant huntsman spider, which has a larger leg span, is bigger than the birdeater.
But the huntsman is much more delicate than the hefty birdeater — comparing the two would be “like comparing a giraffe to an elephant,” Naskrecki said.
The birdeater’s enormous size is evident from the sounds it makes. “Its feet have hardened tips and claws that produce a very distinct, clicking sound, not unlike that of a horse’s hooves hitting the ground,” he wrote, but “not as loud.”
via Puppy-Sized Spider Surprises Scientist in Rainforest.

Li’l Spiders on Planet Earth by Jimmy Kong.

head-on-spider-4This is a small series of macro shots by photographer Jimmy Kong featuring little spiders staring directly at the camera.
See, they’re not so scary now, are they? The one creeping under your bed covers? That one, yes. I used to have a spider that lived in the corner of the ceiling above my shower.
I jokingly called him my roommate, we actually got along fine. Until the day he tried to touch me, then I bare-hand splattered his guts all over the wall. I still find legs in my shower caddy.
head-on-spider-8Keep going for a couple more, but be sure to check out Jimmy’s Flickr for a ton more spiders and insects staring directly at the camera.
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See more spiders via Cuties!: Lil’ Spiders Staring Directly At The Camera | Geekologie.

Steampunk Animal and Insect Sculptures by Igor Verniy.

igor-1by Christopher Jobson.
Steampunk Animal and Insect Sculptures by Igor Verniy steampunk sculpture assemblage animals
From heaps of scrap metal, old bike chains, and silverware, sculptor Igor Verniy creates birds, butterflies, and other unusual creations.
Many of his steampunk and cyberpunk sculptures are made to be fully articulated, with dozens of moving or adjustable parts enabling each piece to be posed in several lifelike positions.
These are some of my favourite pieces but you can see more over on his VK and Facebook pages.
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See more wonderful sculptures via Steampunk Animal and Insect Sculptures by Igor Verniy | Colossal.

Macro Pictures of Insects.

Ground-Beetle_Extreme-Macro-PhotographyToday I am sharing with you stunning extreme macro photography by AlHabshi.
Photography is an art that requires passion to capture the unapproachable.
This art of photography comes after a lot of practice.
My post will make you see at the beautiful earth wild.

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Metallic Jumping Spider Extreme Macro Photography 30+ Stunning Macro
Photography Shots by Gold Medalist AlHabshi
via 30+ Stunning Macro Photography Shots by Gold Medalist AlHabshi » Design You Trust.

‘Bugs’ by Paula Dutja.

c516a0169a6d02b2fca17ec4214756d9I like bugs and I love to draw so I started to make a series of sketches that keeped evolving until they started to become real portraits of the little beings.
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This is a project that will keep growing because I can’t stop making more and more.
See more of Paula Dutja’s art via Insect Entomology: Beautiful small things on Behance.

The Alcon Blue Butterfly and Ants.

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In the meadows of Europe, colonies of industrious team-workers are being manipulated by a master slacker.
The layabout in question is the Alcon blue butterfly (Maculinea alcon) a large and beautiful summer visitor. Its victims are two species of red ants, Myrmica rubra and Myrmica ruginodis.
The Alcon blue is a ‘brood parasite’ – the insect world’s equivalent of the cuckoo. David Nash and European colleagues found that its caterpillars are coated in chemicals that smell very similar to those used by the two species it uses as hosts.
To ants, these chemicals are badges of identity and the caterpillars smell so familiar that the ants adopt them and raise them as their own. The more exacting the caterpillar’s chemicals, the higher its chances of being adopted.
The alien larvae are bad news for the colony, for the ants fawn over them at the expense of their own young, which risk starvation. If a small nest takes in even a few caterpillars, it has more than a 50% chance of having no brood of its own.
That puts pressure on the ants to fight back and Nash realised that the two species provide a marvellous case study for studying evolutionary arms races.
Theory predicts that if the parasites are common enough, they should be caught in an ongoing battle with their host, evolving to become more sophisticated mimics, while the ants evolve to become more discriminating carers.
These insects make a particularly good model for such arms races because their geographical ranges overlap in a fractured mosaic.
Alcon blues lay their eggs on the rare marsh gentian plant and it’s there that they first grow before being adopted by a foraging ant. Both gentians and butterflies are rare but the ants are common, meaning that only a small proportion of colonies are ever parasitized.
The result is a series of evolutionary hotspots where the two species wage adaptive war against each other in contrast to the many coldspots where colonies never encounter the deceptive butterflies.
Read more via Evolutionary arms race turns ants into babysitters for Alcon blue butterflies – Phenomena.