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Tarantula Rights On Hollywood Movie Sets

There was a time when a film about an enormous 50 foot tall mutant tarantula would have been a guaranteed hit. But B movies such as these are not too popular in our contemporary post-atomic age. And this may be a good thing, as it is apparently difficult to make a horror movie about swarms of killer tarantulas without killing a whole lot of the spiders in real life too. This is what occurred during the 1977 filming of the low budget B horror movie called Kingdom of the Spiders. Amazingly, much of the footage showing unlawful arachnid killings and abuse incidents were included within the movie itself. Due to the frequent incidents of indiscriminate mass tarantula killings and other inhumane acts toward spiders during the film’s production, movie productions today are required to conform to numerous regulations concerning humane spider treatment and spider safety.

It is accurately believed that a film like Kingdom of the Spiders could not be made today due to the emergence of an intricate legal framework concerning spider rights in Hollywood. In fact, it was this 1977 film that prompted the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to push for regulations concerning humane spider treatment on film sets. This institutional response is understandable considering the many inhumane actions committed against spiders by actors and crew members while on set. For example, during one scene in the film, two characters are being surrounded by hundreds of living tarantulas within a lodge. During the scene, the actors could clearly be seen stomping on large groups of clustered tarantulas while fulfilling their roles as frightened tourists. During a scene where the tarantulas are attacking a town, hundreds of tarantulas were carelessly stomped on by crowds of extras. In one unforgivable scene of tarantula cruelty, a police cruiser drives on a street covered in real-life tarantulas, resulting in their real-life deaths. The appalled reaction that animal rights activists had toward the film prompted the enactment of spider safety regulations on Hollywood sets. For example,13 years after Kingdom was released, another horror film about killer spiders, Arachnophobia, was released. During the filming of this movie, killing spiders was prohibited, so the crew used the corpses of spiders that died of natural causes to fill in as freshly squashed spider victims. When a spider was killed on screen, a rubber model was used in place of actual spider-murder.

Have you ever witnessed arthropod mistreatment in a movie?


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Every Fall Some Residential Regions In The Southwest Are Overrun With Massive Herds Of Migrating Tarantulas

Every Fall Some Residential Regions In The Southwest Are Overrun With Massive Herds Of Migrating Tarantulas

It is well understood by most people that birds and flying insects, like butterflies, migrate south during the fall season in order to avoid the cold of the coming winter in the north. However, airborne animals are not the only organisms that migrate south for the winter, as tarantulas emerge from their burrows during the fall before migrating en masse southward through several towns and neighborhoods in the southwest. As you can imagine, these mass migrations are known for surprising and terrifying sensitive individuals living within the path of the migrating arachnids. In fact, many new homeowners in the southwest who have not spent much, or any time within the region have been known to panic upon witnessing the sudden appearance of thousands of tarantulas stampeding through their property. Pest control professionals, animal control officials and University pest extension experts all expect a plethora of panicked calls every fall from newcomers in the southwest who did not expect to see an enormous mass of furry tarantulas traversing through their neighborhood.

These massive migratory herds of tarantulas typically emerge during the month of September and October. Once November rolls around, residents of the southwest can expect more of these migratory herds to come through their area, only this time the herds are comprised entirely of male tarantulas that are traveling in search of mates, as November is the start of tarantula mating season in the southwest. While the males are traveling far and wide to find their soul mates, female tarantulas, which are much larger and more aggressive than males, sit waiting for their knights within the comfort of their burrows.

The largest amount of tarantulas, and therefore, the largest herds, can be seen in the dessert landscape of Nevada. However, spider herds can be seen traversing through the grassland and canyon landscapes of Colorado before moving on to more arid desert landscapes in states like Arizona, New Mexico and southern California. A recent study has found that these tarantula herds are first emerging at more northern longitudes with each passing year. Experts believe that global warming may be making more northern environments hospitable to tarantulas. So who knows? Maybe in fifty years migratory tarantula herds can be witnessed stampeding through Omaha.

Have you ever witnessed a migratory herd of tarantulas?

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Residents From 48 States Sent Brown Recluse Spiders To A Researcher Who Claimed That Their Habitat Is Limited To Only A Few States

Brown recluse spiders are among the most well known of all arachnids, which is understandable considering the deadly reputation that the spiders have generated during the past several decades. The brown recluse group of spiders started to become well known in America during the late 1950s when the first medical reports describing this spider’s potentially deadly bite became available to the public. These early medical reports, as well as several subsequent reports, described how brown recluse bites can sometimes lead to necrotizing infections at the site of the bite wound. Although many Americans have heard of brown recluse spiders, very few are able to recognize them. A study in the Journal of Entomology clearly demonstrated that a vast majority of Americans are convinced that they know what brown recluse spiders look like, despite identifying the wrong spiders as brown recluses. For one thing, brown recluse spiders are only endemic within a handful of American states. Despite this fact, residents of 48 states sent the author of the study brown recluse specimens in order to prove that they can accurately identify the spiders within their home state. Consequently, the researcher received spider specimens that were not brown recluses, and many of the specimens did not even resemble the notorious spiders.

Considering the numerous studies that have been published on brown recluse spiders in America, researchers are certain that this spider’s distribution only lies within the southernmost states as well as a few midwestern states. Although the study’s author claimed that brown recluse spiders do not exist within states located in America’s northern, northeastern or northwestern territories, residents of all the states located within these regions attempted to prove him wrong by sending their own captured brown recluse specimens. Of course, the participants sent the wrong spiders, but this was a part of the study.

The researcher challenged Americans in each state to locate and submit brown recluse specimens that they had captured. The lead researcher did this in order to determine if any brown recluse species migrated to any new states. Based on the submissions, the answer to this question was “no.” The second question that the study’s lead researcher was attempting to answer was where the brown recluse is perceived to exist by the American public, and the answer to this question is “everywhere.” Despite the fear many americans have toward brown recluse spiders, it turns out that Americans are surprisingly ignorant of the brown recluse spiders’ distribution and appearance.

Do you think that you would be able to accurately identify a brown recluse species?