Posts tagged Ecology
The House Spider (Tegenaria gigantea)

Spiders are amazing creatures and there are thousands of identified species in the world. In the UK alone, there are over 600 species across 37 families. Many people will commonly refer to spiders as 'insects’. Although spiders, like insects, are invertebrates and belong to the phylum Arthropoda, they do not belong to the same class. Insects are part of the Insecta class, whereas spiders - similarly to scorpions, mites and ticks - belong to the class Arachnida.

There are many differences between insects and arachnids, mostly comprised of their body structure. In spiders, however, even the life cycle is different. Spiders will hatch from the eggs as little miniature versions of mature spiders, rather than in a larva or nymph form, and their maturing is often observed in their frequent moults.

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The Red-Footed Tortoise Turning into a Pyramid (Chelonoidis carbonaria)

Out of all reptiles in existence, tortoises are one of the most widely kept as pets. This is not surprising considering that unlike other reptiles, they are perceived as mostly docile and non-threatening to humans. There's also, of course, the cuteness factor. Unfortunately, humans seem to be just as uninformed regarding their needs and husbandry as they are of any other reptilian order.

Before I start ranting about 'bad humans', let me give you a brief overview of the Chelonoidis carbonaria, commonly known as Red-footed Tortoise. If like me you too grew up in Brazil, the 'Jabuti-Piranga' as most Brazilians call them, are not exactly rare. Unfortunately, as expected of such a successfully captive kept species, wild populations are decreasing due to loss of habitat and the capture of wild individuals to meet the demands of the exotic pet trade.

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The Goliath Frog (Conraua goliath)

The Conraua goliath is one of those species that most people with no interest in amphibians will have heard of because of its size. The 'biggest frog' factoid being an almost must for any pub quiz...or perhaps more realistically, for any pub quiz I would certainly enjoy.

I decided to write about it due to a dream. Yes, that's right, a dream. Not long ago I dreamt that I found a large C. goliath specimen in my garden and I was over the moon about it. I mean, a living and breathing Goliath Frog in my garden! In England! The downside of this dream was that in it, I was the only person able to see the frog. The dream version of my husband couldn't see it at all...oh, the frustration! The next day, I was telling my friend Steven Allain about my strange dream. Realistically, he's one of the only people in my day-to-day life who would truly appreciate the frustration that my dream-self was experiencing. We got talking about C. goliath and I then decided that I would write a post about it. Why not? If I believed in such things, I would say the dream was a sign and all that. So, here it is.

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