Climate Change Can Lead to Giant Spiders
According to Danish scientists, climate change will have yet another knock-on effect... giant spiders. But wait, it gets better: giant armored spiders.
The wolf spiders of northeastern Greenland, with their two-year lifespan, are growing larger as the spring thaw occurs earlier, and their exoskeletons are also getting thicker. They're carnivorous, by the way, if you must know.
Within the bigger-is-better trend among arctic arachnids, females are also growing larger compared to their male counterparts.
Why is this happening? Spiders are not photosynthetic, so longer springtimes and more sun won't directly make them grow. One possibility is the increased duration of the hunting season. Or more molting cycles. Or, like me, they just do better in warmer weather.
The spiders can live for at least two years, and the researchers found that, in years when spring came early, the animals grew larger, on average.
For example, when spring came 30 days earlier than usual, some spiders grew exoskeletons that were 10 percent thicker than average, resulting in bigger bodies overall.
Oh, yeah, and the won't just be bigger, but also more plentiful. So, for now, you'll just need to shake out your shoes a bit more often. In fifty years or so, though, you may need a saddle.
The worrying yet exciting news comes courtesy of National Geographic, which has been speaking to top arachno-boffin Toke Høye of Aarhus University. Høye has spent ten years studying the flesh-eating "wolf" spider Pardosa glacialis which lives in Greenland, north of the Arctic circle.