Eurasian Running Crab Spider

The Eurasian Running Crab Spider (Philodromus dispar) is a small arachnid in the Araneidae family of orb weaver araneomorphic spiders. It is also known as the Philodromid Crab Spider. 

The male Eurasian Running Crab Spider is very different and more distinctive than the female. The male has a shiny, iridescent, black body with white edges and pale legs. The male has large palps – mouthparts. The female is pale greyish-white with pale mottled legs and a leaf-like mark on her abdomen. It is not a very hairy spider. It only has a few bristles, called setae. Of its eight legs, its second pair of legs is longer than its other legs.

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Spider webs provide DNA information about insects

Scientists have discovered that spider webs provide DNA information about insects in forests. The information enables scientists to monitor the biodiversity of ecosystems.

Matjaž Gregorič at the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, and his colleagues, conducted a study on spider webs in 2020. 

They used the webs of two species of spiders: (1) Garden Spiders (Araneus diadematus) that make orb webs, and (2) Common Hammock-Weaving Spiders (Linyphia triangularis) that make cup-shaped webs. 

The spider webs act like a filter, trapping air particles, which also contain DNA from insects, fungi, and other bacteria. 

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Spider Webs

Most spiders use webs to trap their prey. Some spiders catch up to 250 insects a day in their web. Spiders use the hairs on their legs to detect web vibrations, which might indicate that their prey has landed on the web.

Spider webs are made of durable silk from their spinnerets and silk-producing glands located on their abdomen.

Some spiders make a new web every day and other spider webs can last for several weeks.

To make a web, a spider must think about its location, the best anchor points, size, and weather conditions, such as wind, rain, frost, and snow.

There are about 40,000 different known species of spiders. Different spiders make different shaped webs, such as thread webs; spiral webs; cobwebs (tangled webs); funnel webs; sheet webs, and canopy webs.

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East African Common Hippopotamus

The East African Common Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibious kiboko) is a large African even-toed ungulate (hoofed) mammal found in Kenya and Somalia. Hippopotamus means river horse, and amphibious means adapted to land and water. The hippo from East Africa has a broader nose and more hollowed eye sockets than other hippos.

The East African Common Hippo has a grey-brown hairless skin, with pink patches in creases.  It has a barrel-shaped body with a short tail. Its head is large, with a wide mouth and canine ivory tusks. It has short legs with four webbed toes, but it can run for short distances at 30 kilometres per hour (19 miles per hour). It cannot jump.

It can grow to 1.65 metres (66 inches) tall and 3.7 metres (148 inches) long. It is the third largest land mammal (the elephant is the largest, and the rhinoceros is the second largest).

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CREATURE FEATURE: Golden Silk Orb Weaver

The Golden Silk Orb Weaver (Nephila constricta) is a large arachnid in the Araneidae family of orb weaver spiders. Nephila means fond of spinning. The Golden Silk Orb Weaver has yellow (gold) silk, which they use to make their webs.

The Golden Silk Orb Weaver varies in colour from reddish to greenish yellow.

It can grow to 4.8–5.1 centimetres (1.5–2 inches). The female is larger than the male.

The Golden Silk Orb Weaver makes a large asymmetric orb web up to one and a half meters in diameter. It stays in its webs permanently.

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Asian Small-Clawed Otter

The Asian Small-Clawed Otter (Amblonyx cinereus) is the smallest otter in the world. It is also called the Oriental Small-Clawed Otter. They are related to the weasel.

They have slender long and flexible bodies with dark grey-brown fur, with lighter patches on the face and neck. Otters have two types of fur: long, stout guard hairs and short, fine undercoat hairs, which looks velvety.

Asian Small-Clawed Otters have flat heads and thick necks. Their eyes are located at the front of their head. The ears are small and rounded and have a valve that enables them to be closed when the otters swim underwater.

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