11 animals that are prone to cannibalism

It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, what with evolving ecosystems, loss of habitats, and overall human effects on the greater animal kingdom. So can you really blame an animal for sometimes turning on its own kind? There are a variety of reasons animals engage in cannibalism, from stories of survival, stress and sex, to stranger … Continued

5 killer animals less dangerous than taking a selfie

Think of Earth’s deadliest killers, and the same animals always seem to spring to mind. Sharks, bears, alligators; these are the creatures that we consistently mark out as Mother Nature’s most bloodthirsty beasts. Look at the stats, however, and you’ll realise that these sharp-toothed megafauna aren’t half as deadly as we make them out to … Continued

Tasmanian town wrapped in web after thousands of spiders fall out of the sky

It has been raining spiders in a small Tasmanian town, after severe flooding prompted the arachnids to resort to an unusual escape method known as ballooning. Local trees and bushes are now covered in a vast web of silk in Westbury, near Launceston on the Australian island state, and within the folds an unimaginable number … Continued

Meet Brian, a newly discovered surfing spider from Australia

A species of spider just discovered in Queensland, Australia, has been observed surfing waves, swimming and diving underwater to catch its prey, which can include animals as big as frogs. The spider, which can grow to the size of an adult human’s palm, has been called Brian after the noted American theoretical physicist Brian Greene, … Continued

Spider sex: A scary world of bondage and cannibalism

Contrary to popular belief, being a spiderman sucks. Not only is your prospective mate often many times bigger than you, but after sex there’s a fair chance she’s going to kill and eat you. Being on the wrong end of an act of post-coitus cannibalisation is a genuine concern for many male arachnids, with their … Continued

A spider named Cash (not Sue)

A newly discovered species of spider has just been named after Johnny Cash. The tarantula, which you can now call Aphonopelma johnnycashi (anything but Sue), lives in the foothills of Folsom Prison in California, where Cash famously recorded a live album while playing a series of concerts for inmates in the late 1960s. But that’s … Continued

David Bowie and the spiders from Malaysia

Web browsers and television sets flicked to life this morning to announce the death of music legend David Bowie. The 69-year-old—renowned for his visionary musical experimentation across glam rock, art rock, soul, hard rock, dance pop, punk and electronica—died today after an 18-month battle with cancer. Bowie’s artistic breakthrough came with 1972’s The Rise and … Continued

No cause for alarm: This is just a half-mile long spiderweb

The ground lay covered in a beautiful coat of gentlest white, glittering serenely in dawn’s early light. But this isn’t frost. This is North Memphis, Tennessee, and the city—rather than being in a state of deep freeze—is actually covered in a spiderweb a half-mile long. When the gigantic spiderweb—and ‘millions’ of spiders—was first spotted, residents … Continued

This fist-sized, fish-eating spider is out to reclaim British wetlands

One of Britain’s largest arachnids—the fist-sized, fish-gobbling fen raft spider—has once again returned to the wild in growing numbers, after being pushed to the precipice of extinction just five years ago. The size of this super spider, which can balance on water thanks to a whopping (for a UK spider) 8cm leg-span, may be a little … Continued

Pesticides change spiders' personalities

Scientists have used the often slighted spider to prove that pesticides may have a much wider range of effects than first supposed. Since Rachel Carson’s 1962 classic Silent Spring, it’s become common knowledge that pesticides and wildlife don’t mix, but precisely how these toxic chemicals alter animals on an individual basis is a complexity far less … Continued