Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Spider Commits Suicide

Okay this is true, I know it because the HIStory Channel never lies. There's this parasite, loves spiders innards, and when it burrows into the stomach parts the spider starts to feel poorly. This parasite is called a leech-miasis. So it starts to get fat inside the spider until the poor insect is in agonies of pain. Now, the spider lives with a seeming knowledge that it will die if it falls into water. But I saw it jump right into a pool of water with what (anthropomorphically) looked like purpose. Surely it knew it was carrying a parasite? I don't know, but somehow must've known it would die in the effort, and chose death rather than live with such pain. The film showed how the parasite crawled out of the spider as it died.

If true, what does the ability of other animals to understand suicide tell us about life? Even more poinant, what does it say about sacrifice, not just blind instinctual action?

Remember the elephant matriarch who threw herself in front of a pack of wild dogs to save her sister? No, not to distract, she tried that. She tossed her weight onto the dogs by throwing her immense bulk onto the ground. They tore her up pretty badly but she accomplished what seemed her goal: saved her sister. Gave her life. Just laid down. I know it sounds (again) very personally anthropomorphic but what a concept - humanity in other animals.

I like it. Might mean there's hope for us.


15 comments:

Jeannette said...

I agree totally

John Hayes said...

Interesting story. It strikes me that folks who don't see choice & volition & subjectivity in animals' actions haven't spent very much time around them.

robert said...

One who has a WHY to live, endures nearly every HOW.

Ana said...

Well, it seems that insects and other animals like the elephant are behaving much more humanly than the mankind.
I confess I'm not understanding what does "humanity" means.

Bradpetehoops said...

Nice information! Have a nice day.

Martha said...

That's pretty intense Cathy - I think I'll stick with taking cardboard dogs on fake vacations, LOL! I've always been a little nuts with the ways I escape reality - I was raised in the 60's what do you expect ;-)

Selchie said...

This is gross and beautiful at the same. Truth is we dont know what animals think. I've been butted by ewes protecting their lambs, given the beady eye by cows with calves and run (v fast for me) across the field holding little piglies while mum chases behind.
I like the hope in your message, thank you and thanks for your words of support.

happy day,

Sarah)

Rhapsody B. said...

Blessings....

Well animals and us are not that different, they have there own language and way of life and like us they understand pain. Just as we can make choices to live or die, so can they. NO one wants to live in agony......

Interesting topic, thanks for sharing.

Have a good weekend

Dawn said...

Not maybe; there is always hope!

Sorry I have been away so long!

be well...

Melody said...

Hi Cathy, thanx for stopping by my page and leaving your thoughts.
I don't know how much understanding (about me) you can gain from reading my drivel, not because I'm so complex but because I'm...a teensy bit unusual. Haha yeah, I'll go with unusual.
I appreciate your contribution to TJU, you are a welcome addition. I'm glad I didn't scare ya off, I have that effect on people, sometimes intentional, sometimes not but anyone brave and open enough to join TJU has my respect for sure.
As I don't want to overload your comments, I left you a more detailed reply in my own. A pleasure to meet you Cathrin, really, truly a pleasure.
~Melody Lee

Mark said...

Very interesting. I believe we don't give other members of the animal kingdom enough credit for what they know.

Charley said...

Watching my daughter (4 months) do some things makes me wonder -

Just how much is learned, how much is part of a deliberate decision, how much altruism truly plays a part, and how much is instinct?

Gledwood said...

that's fascinating. and i'm glad i'm not a spider

Kathy said...

Must mean there's hope for us. ;)

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