The ancient Maya used a vivid, remarkably durable blue paint to cover their palace walls, codices, pottery and maybe even the bodies of human sacrifices who were thrown to their deaths down sacred wells. Now a group of chemists claim to have cracked the recipe of Maya Blue.
Each wing’s motion can be fine-tuned by controlling its amplitude, flapping frequency and thrust – which is achieved by adjusting its tilt and twist. The team says a smartphone can act as a remote control to put the dragonfly almost anywhere in a given space.
In this paper more than 50 incidences of bats being captured by spiders are reviewed. Bat-catching spiders have been reported from virtually every continent with the exception of Antarctica (~90% of the incidences occurring in the warmer areas of the globe between latitude 30° N and 30° S). Most reports refer to the Neotropics (42% of observed incidences), Asia (28.8%), and Australia-Papua New Guinea (13.5%). Bat-catching spiders belong to the mygalomorph family Theraphosidae and the araneomorph families Nephilidae, Araneidae, and Sparassidae.
Comet Pan-STARRS has been visible in the Northern Hemisphere evening sky since last week, though stargazers in the Southern Hemisphere were tracking the comet for months before it moved into the northern sky. The comet made its closest approach to the sun on Sunday (March 10), and was at its brightest at that time.
Babbitt’s personal favorite is the pinktoe tarantula, a South American spider with pink-tipped legs that give the impression of freshly-painted nails. Because the pinktoe spider comes from the rainforest, it’s one of the few tarantulas that can climb trees, survive falls and even swim. Where other tarantulas would be killed by a drop of just a few feet, these spiders “can essentially parachute down” from the treetops.
The common purse-web spider Atypus affinis Eichwald, 1830 belongs to the purse-web spider family (Atypidae). These are the only central European representatives of the tarantula-like spiders (Mygalomorphae); a group characterised by their forward-projecting and parallel (i.e. orthognath) mouthparts.