strange behaviors

Cool doings from the natural and human worlds

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    Every Creeping Thing: True Tales of Faintly Repulsive Wildlife: “Conniff is a splendid writer–fresh, clear, uncondescending, and with never a false step; one can’t resist quoting him.” (NY Times Book Review)

    The Species Seekers:  Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff is “a swashbuckling romp” that “brilliantly evokes that just-before Darwin era” (BBC Focus) and “an enduring story bursting at the seams with intriguing, fantastical and disturbing anecdotes” (New Scientist). “This beautifully written book has the verve of an adventure story” (Wall St. Journal)

    Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time by Richard Conniff  is “Hilariously informative…This book will remind you why you always wanted to be a naturalist.” (Outside magazine) “Field naturalist Conniff’s animal adventures … are so amusing and full color that they burst right off the page …  a quick and intensely pleasurable read.” (Seed magazine) “Conniff’s poetic accounts of giraffes drifting past like sail boats, and his feeble attempts to educate Vervet monkeys on the wonders of tissue paper will leave your heart and sides aching.  An excellent read.” (BBC Focus magazine)

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“Frankly, Darling, You Look Like Crap, Today”

Posted by Richard Conniff on August 9, 2014

(Photo: John Tiddy)

(Photo: John Tiddy/Meetyourneighbours.net)

Say “Oh, my God, you look like shit!” and this spider is likely to answer, “Why, thank you!”

Add it to your list of species that evade potential predators by disguising themselves as bird poop.

It comes from Australia-based photographer John Tiddy, via American conservation biologist John Karges.  Tiddy found this bird-dropping spider, Celaenia excavata, on a friend’s apple tree.

Tiddy says: “Being mid-winter here, there are not many leaves left on it. The spider hangs motionless during the day, relying on the bird poo look to protect it from predators. At night it descends on its web and emits a pheromone that mimics the pheromone given off by female moths. When the amorous male moth approaches, it becomes supper. Obviously a great spider to have around your fruit trees!”

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