August 31, 2007


Texas spiders' monstrous webs baffle scientists (Ed Stoddard, 8/31/07, Reuters)

A monstrous network of sheet-like webs covering several acres has been spun over trees in this state park 50 miles (80 kms) east of Dallas, baffling scientists who say it is an almost-unheard-of occurrence in the region.

"The dominant spiders here seem to be long-jawed spiders but this is unusual. Social spiders build communal nests in the tropics but the longjaws are not social," said Mike Quinn, a Texas state insect biologist.

"We still don't have a clear answer for what is going on here," he said as he stood beneath the ghostly canopy of webbing which shrouded a patch of oak and juniper trees.

Has a Mythical Beast Turned Up in Texas? (ELIZABETH WHITE, 8/31/07, Associated Press)
Phylis Canion lived in Africa for four years. She's been a hunter all her life and has the mounted heads of a zebra and other exotic animals in her house to prove it.

But the roadkill she found last month outside her ranch was a new one even for her, worth putting in a freezer hidden from curious onlookers: Canion believes she may have the head of the mythical, bloodsucking chupacabra.

"It is one ugly creature," Canion said, holding the head of the mammal, which has big ears, large fanged teeth and grayish-blue, mostly hairless skin.

Working in TX, we used to find the odd javelina skull, which was more terrifying than the live rattlers. But our favorite creature was the product of an ad campaign. Lone Star was running commercials where a giant armadillo would storm stores and take the beer. So whenever there was a dead armadillo on the side of the road folks would roll it over on its back and prop a Lone Star bottle in its paws.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 31, 2007 8:03 PM
Comments for this post are closed.