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Geyser spider

 
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18087
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:36 pm    Post subject: Geyser spider Reply with quote



This medium-sized spider (legspan maybe 20 mm) lives on the surface of water pools formed by the outflow from geysers and springs in Yellowstone National Park. The warm water also supports a type of bacterial mat, which you can see on the bottom, several mm underneath the spider.

This one was photographed in the outflow from the Grand Prismatic Spring. Here's the habitat, with Excelsior Geyser in the background and the spider hiding just off extreme bottom of the frame.



These are strictly arms-length shots, holding a Canon A710 just above water surface under the boardwalk.

There was also a small water beetle whizzing around under the surface a couple of centimeters away from the spider. But the beetle was only about 1 mm in length and I couldn't get anything decent of it.

Hope you find these interesting!

--Rik
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Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 6951
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I find to be most interesting is that bacterial mat. Think The amount of pathogenic amoebae must be astounding, not to mention other thermophelic beasties living therein. Of course your spider too is quite interesting as to how it must be able survive in such an environment, along with water beetles and such, an ecosystem worth years of study and research I can imagine on an amateur scale. I cannot help but to imagine that places like this, is where it all began for life on earth. Very interesting there Rik. In my travels many years in the past now, I never had the chance, though I could have, to visit Yellowstone. So many past regrets, as they say hindsight is 20/20. Looks like a wonderful time. Thanks! Very Happy
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However, while there is grace where in all that I might live, while there is still breath in my being, while I may or may not accomplish anything more in life than to be living, I shall reflect upon the past, applying it to the present, for to possibly perceive to a near certainty, the outcome of the future.

Ken 2014
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lauriek
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Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 2404
Location: South East UK

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never been to the US, and with the current "War on Terror" and flight hassle, I'm not likely to in the near future - but I would /love/ to go to Yellowstone!

Rik I'm very dissapointed you didn't fish out the little beetle and do a quick stack for us!! ;D
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18087
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the comments, guys!

Ken, there are several kinds of bacterial mats, different critters living in different temperatures and chemistry. These muck brown ones are living in water that I'd call "tepid". There are some other rich reddish-brown ones that live in right toasty places though. I stuck a finger in one outflow that seemed safe, and it was, but it was also hot enough that I'd wear rubber gloves if I had to wash dishes in it. Tough little buggers!

--Rik
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