Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Daddy longlegs: door to the past?

Okay, if you're anything like me, this post at Catalogue of Organisms will clear up a lot of confusion over daddy longlegs - it turns out it refers to no less than three separate organisms! I really need to stop treating crane-flies with such respect - I've always thought that they were one of the most poisonous creatures in existence, but their fangs were too small to pierce human skin (Hey, what if they bit you on a cut, okay?). It turns out that not only is this not true, it referred to a different animal in the first place. Anyway, once you've cleared up that confusion, go read Carl Zimmer's post on what daddy longlegs can tell us about the past. Toddle along now.


Christopher Taylor said...

You should probably still treat them with respect - they may not be able to poison you, but they can still drop legs on you, and a big enough swarm might be able to smother you.

Ben D said...

Good point - I guess it's back to hiding in the corner for me then. Or maybe I should only be worried if they call their friends?