Whether one has owned a pet cat, dog, chinchilla or what-have-you, or merely admired the grace and beauty of a horse or deer, most of us develop positive links with at least one four-legged animal. But for everyone except maybe scientists, warm and fuzzy feelings evaporate when you move up to critters with a thousand or more legs.
Insects, all of which have six legs, seldom elicit an oxytocin feel-good rush. I mean it’s unusual for folks to get doe-eyed over a mosquito, yellow jacket or cucumber beetle. On the whole, though, insects are nowhere near as creepy as eight-legged beasties. The term arachnid, I’m pretty sure, is Latin for “things with too many legs for my comfort level.” It includes ticks, which can transmit around a dozen serious illnesses to humans, as well as spiders. These latter, of which we seem to have an innate fear, are equal parts by weight of legs, eyes and hairs, by my estimation at least. [Read more…] about Counting on Arthropods