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#117775 - 12/16/03 12:25 PM Come in to my parlor...  
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Flatlander Offline
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Cape Cod, MA, US
So, as you may have heard, a certain individual that the US government has a few questions for was discovered in what officials and the press call a "spider hole". My question is why is it called that? I seem to recall that there is one species of spider that lives in a hole in the ground, but most of the eight-legged buggers have rather different accomodations. I could see "ferret hole" or "weasel hole" (the latter seems particularly apt), but I don't understand "spider hole". Anyone care to dig into this one?


#117776 - 12/16/03 12:30 PM Re: Come in to my parlor...  
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of troy Offline
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rego park
I seem to recall that there is one species of spider that lives in a hole in the ground

really? funnelhole spiders are unique to living in the ground? i didn't know that.

but spiders live in holes in wood, (and under bits of bark) and in other creavases. they live in small dark places...
and i guess too, they are scarier to come across than a ferret.. (don't know of any poisonous species of ferret!)


#117777 - 12/16/03 02:06 PM Re: Come in to my parlor...  
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Faldage Offline
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I seem to recall that there is one species of spider that lives in a hole in the ground

At least one. The term dates back at least to the VietNam war. The original definition was a hidey-hole made for the purpose of lying in wait for a victim to ambush. The technique was used by the Japanese in WWII, but it is uncertain if the term was used at the time. The usage in reference to a hidey-hole for purposes of evading capture seems to be an extended meaning, but the term "rat hole" has also been used to describe the Saddam situation.

The metaphor of the spider hole is from the actions of the trap door spider.

http://www.everythingabout.net/articles/biology/animals/arthropods/arachnids/spiders/trap-door_spider/



#117778 - 12/16/03 03:02 PM Re: Come in to my parlor...  
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Flatlander Offline
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The usage in reference to a hidey-hole for purposes of evading capture seems to be an extended meaning

I think this is what was troubling me. I knew the trap door spider used a pit to ambush its prey, but this seemed to be more of a defensive situation. Thanks for the clarification.


#117779 - 12/16/03 07:58 PM Re: Come in to my parlor...  
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Father Steve Offline
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#117780 - 12/17/03 01:03 AM Re: Come in to my parlor...  
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stales Offline
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Perth, Western Australia
Ah - Oz - welcome to the land of creatures that'll kill you; no matter how many legs they do (or don't) have. That reminds me of a funny story - but I digress.

Most common hole dwelling arachnids in Oz are the Funnel Web, Trapdoor and Mouse spiders. All can be fatal - of course!

And now the funny story....was at Rottnest Island (19km off the coast of Perth) a couple of weekends ago. Went for the bus trip around the island tour - it doubles as a shuttle bus service for the various beaches and residential areas around the island - as well as a sightseeing opportunity. A large party of young Japanese tourists disembarked at one of the popular beaches....their leader, the last off, turned to thank the driver. The driver replied, "Thanks mate, be careful of the sharks", closed the door and drove off. Those of us inside were in stitches with his (arguably mean) trick; playing upon the fears of visitors to our shores. I don't think there's been a shark attack at "Rotto" in white history.

stales


#117781 - 12/17/03 01:09 AM Re: Come in to my parlor...  
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Aah, that sophisticated, intellectual Aussie humour shining at its brightest! Congratulations on a stunning effort in Adelaide, btw.


#117782 - 12/18/03 01:12 AM Re: Come in to my parlor...  
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Bingley Offline
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You know, I kept reading it as Rottenest Island, and wondered whether this wouldn't be a bit off-putting for potential tourists.

Bingley


Bingley
#117783 - 12/18/03 01:52 AM Re: Come in to my parlor...  
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Jackie Offline
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Heavens, I read--well, interpreted--it as rat nest; hardly an improvement!


#117784 - 12/18/03 01:57 AM Re: Come in to my parlor...  
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wwh Offline
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Dear Stales: sharks are bad enough. But how about the small jellyfish whose stings can kill a child. How common are they?


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