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20-05-2013, 08:05 AM
RE: So...
Is this what comes to mind when thinking of a spider mount?

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20-05-2013, 08:07 AM
RE: So...
They have terribly inefficient respiratory systems as compared to vertebrates. Our atmosphere doesn't currently have enough oxygen to sustain them, like it did during the Permian when you got 8 foot long centipedes.

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20-05-2013, 08:11 AM
RE: So...
(20-05-2013 08:04 AM)kim Wrote:  1) Is it possible for insects to grow to a very large size without their exoskeleton crushing themselves?

Good question. I'm gonna need some coffee.

The main thing about the structure is pumping fluids, mainly water & blood, to the legs to get them to work. If a spider loses too much body water, it can't generate the necessary hydraulic pressure to push its legs out. This is why you sometimes see spiders on their backs with their legs curled up. So, the spider needs to get bigger and the way they do this is molting.

For a spider to get big enough for you to ride, it would take a shit load of water and blood - and it's exoskeleton would need to be either made of stronger stuff -like steel OR Consider the cuticle would need to be tweaked genetically to provide a more efficient structural integrity. Let's say... something like a hexagon structure rather than the current long, layered grains of cuticle material.

I suppose it's do-able... in a genetically-Frankenstein sort of way but I personally think spiders lose a lot in the molting stage. I think by the end of their lives, they get a little bit crazy after having been brought to the brink of hypothermia during so many times of molting. I think we're talking about accumulative brain damage here.

It's up to you if you want to ride a giant, senile spider around - I personally wouldn't want to risk it. AND I think it's just taking advantage of the elderly - and that would me off. Drinking Beverage

I'm thinking attaching some tubes to a spider to artificially insert into it to force it to molt more then it normally would thus becoming larger.
As long as it's properly hydrated it wont suffer any negative side effects right?

Still, I'm thinking you'd still need a really large spider to begin with.

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20-05-2013, 08:14 AM
RE: So...
I don't think it would work mechanically either. No spider ever got anywhere near that large in a terrestrial setting (I can think of only a few chelicerates who got very large and they were marine, the Eurypterids). The legs would be unable to support themselves, never mind the inability of the exoskeleton to refrain from crushing itself.

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20-05-2013, 08:16 AM
RE: So...
(20-05-2013 08:05 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  
(20-05-2013 07:55 AM)Free Thought Wrote:  I don't see why you would want a giant black widow as a mount.

First, I suppose it could be possible to breed black widows to be of ever increasing size until they could A) not be crushed by their own weight and B) be mountable..
However, I get the feeling that the second you mount one, the exoskeleton would snap and shatter like thin glass. Insect and arachnid skin is usually made up of chitin, which is very brittle, if I remember correctly. Too much pressure or weight and it'd crack like nobodies business...

Arachnid brains are pretty simple, I think. I doubt it would be the size of the brain, but rather the complexity of the brain itself and the chemical make-up of its brain that would determine intelligence overall intelligence potential.
...And how would one be able to test for, and thus select for, intelligence of a spider to begin with?

I doubt you could saddle a giant spider of any variety without it being needlessly complicated.

It's brittle sure, but as it got big it would become thick too.
They're pretty easy to crush because they're so small.
Multiply it by X amount and it may become very hard indeed.

Yea I was thinking more about the brain issue, I was reminded of the Brontosaurus.
Extremely large dinosaurs but they had very small simplistic brains.

I suppose the question then becomes why are mammals the ones with this complex brain, yet other animals such as insects seem to appear purely eating and breeding?
And yea, how would you determine intelligence of a spider? Simple food tests I would imagine. Go through this hole get food, go through that hole don't get foo sort of tests.

Bluetac? (for the saddle)

With increased size, would come increased surface area, not necessarily extra thickness, Muffs. As Kim mentioned, you'd probably have to alter the spiders skin to be stronger, which would probably require changing a portion of the DNA in order to cause the synthesis of proteins which would form into chitin-like macromolecules of a different arrangement in order to enhance the strength..

I wonder if it would be possible to develop a way for cells to be able to stitch unused carbon within themselves together to create something like biological hardened-carbon skin..


As for the intelligence test, this would be SO much easier to do with ants.
As long as you had a stick with a sac filled with a certain pheromone, the ant would follow it's lead everywhere...

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20-05-2013, 08:17 AM
RE: So...
(20-05-2013 08:07 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  They have terribly inefficient respiratory systems as compared to vertebrates. Our atmosphere doesn't currently have enough oxygen to sustain them, like it did during the Permian when you got 8 foot long centipedes.

Centipede; now see, that's ridable. A bit cumbersome though ... and slick - probably need some kind of saddle and that would blow the whole bareback-freedom thing. Dodgy

They've found microscopic spiders at 80 thousand feet... they kind of pass out and freeze and go into a sort of suspended animation but can be revived. So much does depend on breathing and pumping the fluids.

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20-05-2013, 08:22 AM
RE: So...
And now, a picture of a goofball holding a big arachnid.

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20-05-2013, 08:25 AM
RE: So...
(20-05-2013 08:07 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  They have terribly inefficient respiratory systems as compared to vertebrates. Our atmosphere doesn't currently have enough oxygen to sustain them, like it did during the Permian when you got 8 foot long centipedes.

This is not good. I do only need one however, I am open to some sort of bionic-robotic hybrid thing. Just sayin.

It sounds like insects and spiders are actually a really poor evolutionary design. They're great for their size but there's no potential to grow or at least the requirements are rather high.
I guess they don't need too though... Consider

Quote:Is this what comes to mind when thinking of a spider mount?

Yes. But a black widow.

Quote:With increased size, would come increased surface area, not necessarily extra thickness, Muffs. As Kim mentioned, you'd probably have to alter the spiders skin to be stronger, which would probably require changing a portion of the DNA in order to cause the synthesis of proteins which would form into chitin-like macromolecules of a different arrangement in order to enhance the strength..

I wonder if it would be possible to develop an enzyme with could stitch unused carbon within cells together to create something like biological hardened carbon skin..

The first life was in the sea, it then evolved into amphibians and then reptiles.
Each time the skin needed to be different to adapt to the environment.
A fish is going to dry out in the sun for example.

This must mean there is potential for it to develop some form of stronger "skin".
Evolution will find a way I'm sure it would.

Quote:As for the intelligence test, this would be SO much easier to do with ants.
As long as you had a stick with a sac filled with a certain pheromone, the ant would follow it's lead everywhere...

Maybe. But ants are just followers. Spiders are independent. So the spider must have more brain capacity?

Quote:Centipede; now see, that's ridable. A bit cumbersome though ... and slick - probably need some kind of saddle and that would blow the whole bareback-freedom thing. Dodgy

The problem with centipede's is that they're so long. Soon people are going to be wanting rides etc...
I have been bitten by a giant centipede (giant for new zealand) though, hurt like a motherfucker! Those things are vicious.

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20-05-2013, 08:25 AM
RE: So...
(20-05-2013 08:22 AM)kim Wrote:  And now, a picture of a goofball holding a big arachnid.

Why do things like that live?

Honestly!

It's madness!

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20-05-2013, 08:26 AM
RE: So...
(20-05-2013 08:16 AM)Free Thought Wrote:  As for the intelligence test, this would be SO much easier to do with ants.
As long as you had a stick with a sac filled with a certain pheromone, the ant would follow it's lead everywhere...

Meh - fuck ants - they're like the Borg. And they're too thin skinned.

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