Hazel Burns

Scientists Explain Why Tarantulas Exist Worldwide

Spiders are normally not one of people’s most beloved animals. There are those who are so traumatized by the animal that the word fear is quite simplistic to describe what they feel.

Their bodies are divided into cephalothorax and abdomen, in which there are four pairs of legs. As in all arthropods, spiders have an exoskeleton, composed of chitin.

Among all of them, the tarantula is one of the most adverse reactions. They are known for their gigantic size, fur, bright colors and distinct physical attributes.

And not only are their physical attributes impressive. The tarantula is seen around the world. Surprising fact since they are relatively sedentary spiders. So much so that females and juveniles rarely stray from their lair. However, tarantulas can be found everywhere, on every continent on Earth except Antarctica.

“They are very widespread and found in all subtropical regions of all continents. Their behavior does not portend that tarantulas would be successful dispersers, but they have spread across the world and colonized remarkably different ecological niches,” explained a research team led by bioinformatics man Saoirse Foley of Carnegie Mellon University in a new study.


So what can explain this successful tarantula migration? In the new study, Foley and his team investigated the biogeographic patterns of tarantulas throughout history. They analyzed messenger RNA in tarantula transcriptome databases and modeled how the arachnid’s family tree might have evolved over 120 million years of evolution.

Precisely this ancestry seems to be the key to the tarantula’s great dispersion. For her first ancestors would have traveled around the world, through continental drift while the most fundamental land masses were wandering and colliding over millions of years.

“Previous studies estimate that tarantulas emerged between 150 Ma-71 Ma or ~ 107 Ma, which is compatible with a Gondwana origin. In fact, some tarantulas (Selenocosmiinae) are suggested as North Gondwana taxa,” explained the researchers.

The team found evidence of two separate dispersals outside India of ancient tarantulas in Asia. This happened when the Indian subcontinent collided with Asia approximately between 55 and 35 million years ago.

“Interestingly, although our analyzes suggest a Gondwana origin for Theraphosidae, this pattern suggests that tarantulas were not always present in Oceania. And instead it is consistent with Selenocosmiinae diversifying across Asia, eventually crossing the Wallace line sometime after the India/Asia collision. While terrestrial Thrigmopoeinae remained in India,” the researchers wrote.


“Our results indicate that these two Asian lineages diverged while the Indian dish was still sailing towards Asia. Interestingly, the two strains also appear to be ecologically divergent,” they continued.

These results suggest that while continental drift played a key role in helping ancient spiders to colonize new continents, their own evolutionary adaptations also played an important role in their geographic spread.

“Perhaps these radiations can be attributed to an age-old change in lifestyle that each ecologically distinct subfamily has become successful in exploring different ecological niches,” the researchers concluded.

How Seven Sisters Made Millions With Their Long Hair

By 1800, seven sisters living in upstate New York impressed crowds with their long hair . As the date having long hair was not a common habit, the sisters ended up entering the world of show business. On demand, they traveled the world to do small shows in cheap museums, performances in circuses and even at open fairs.

Famous Sisters

The Sutherland sisters – Sarah, Victoria, Isabella, Grace, Naomi, Dora and Mary – were born into a humble family. All, without exception, grew up on a farm whose activities were aimed at raising turkeys and, as was usual, always helped with domestic activities.

When they were little, the mother washed the girls’ hair with a homemade lotion that, according to a report published by the news portal Ripley’s, was capable of making the locks grow.

After years of using the lotion, everyone’s hair grew dramatically and, oddly enough, followed the same pace. When they were invited to enter the universe of show business, the hair of the Sutherland sisters measured 11.3 m – a length that, for the time, was far too exaggerated.

As soon as they entered the exotic attractions market, the young women began to be known by various nicknames, including the 7 Wonders of the World and the 7 Young Girls with the longest hair in the world.

In The World Of Show Business

Interestingly, the Sutherland sisters had other aptitudes. When they were invited to participate in the first events , the girls proved to be excellent singers. Nevertheless, even performing alongside talented musicians, people flocked to their shows only to see them tossing their hair.

Even not caring about the girls’ vocal quality, the audience raved during the shows, after all, at the time, any woman who thought herself respectable always kept her hair up and, therefore, see the sisters swinging her locks between one note and another it was, say, the pinnacle of innovation.

Realizing that the public’s interest was restricted only to long hair, the sisters stopped focusing on their talents to conquer another market: advertising.


As at the time, much of the advertising was done through serials and fairs, the young women started to participate in various events to market the homemade hair lotion that their mother produced. To make the business even more promising, the young women said that the recipe was secret, which ended up arousing high interest among high society women.

The incredible thing here is that the lotion recipe had been exhausted with the mother’s death. However, in order not to miss the opportunity to earn money, the sisters invented one. The lotion created by the girls was made from alcohol, oil and water.

Faced with this and the eagerness to increase profits, the Sutherland sisters started to manufacture ointments and soaps. It is estimated that the girls were able to earn about US$90,000 from sales that were made in the first year alone.

In 1893, when Naomi died, the sisters, so as not to harm their business, hired a replacement. The business only stopped being promising when short hair returned to the trend. In all, the sisters have earned about $3 million over their careers.

The girls used the money to build a mansion on the farm where they grew up and spent the rest of their lives together.