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Thursday, 20 October 2016

What if all the #spiders disappeared?

No spiders

Although some may wish it so, a world without spiders would be a miserable place.
When I see spiders I think, "aww, like a puppy!" ... but for many the reaction isn't quite so warm. More like, scream-panic-run. If you fall into the latter camp, take heart, it is not an irrational thing to be terrified of arachnids.

Researchers studying the topic of arachnophobia say that the human visual system may retain ancestral mechanisms uniquely dedicated to the quick noticing of immediate and specific threats, such as spiders and snakes, which persistently recurred throughout evolutionary time: "Spiders may be one of a very few evolutionarily-persistent threats that are inherently specified for visual detection and uniquely 'prepared' to capture attention and awareness irrespective of any foreknowledge, personal importance, or task-relevance."
But regardless if you coo or shriek at the sight of a spider, one thing is for sure: We need them! And at the rate that we are losing various species in general, it would be a good idea to hold on to them. (Metaphorically speaking, of course.) Over-exuberant collecting by hobbyists have pushed some spiders to the edge of extinction; however, habitat fragmentation and loss are the most pressing threat to our eight-legged friends.
By some accounts, the below comic would be unlikely, since without spiders, humanity would be nothing short of doomed!

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