Monday, April 11, 2011

"Exciting" Spider Discoveries

Recently I was looking up information on the brown recluse spider when I stumbled upon an interesting creature and could not believe what I had read.

Most common in South and Central America, there lives a spider with the scientific name phoneutria nigreventer but is more commonly known as the banana spider, or the wandering spider. The banana spider nickname comes from it's tendency to hide in high moisture, dark areas, especially banana leaves. It is referred to as the wandering spider because unlike many other spiders, phoneutria nigreventer hunts at night, walking on the jungle floor rather than making a web to catch its prey. The spider is generally about 4 to 5 inches long, and tends to be very hairy. More stunning than this spider's size is the dangerous effects the venom can have.

If bitten, a human can experience many horrible side effects and possibly death without anti venom. Some effects include loss of muscle control, severe pain and extreme difficulty breathing. However, not all effects are necessarily negative, and scientists have had some exciting discoveries... about 4 hours of excitement to be exact.
The toxin in the spider venom PnTx2-6 is said to give men an erection lasting 4 hours. However, this is symptom is not pleasant and is said to be extremely painful. Currently scientists are working to control the venom and create an erectile dysfunction medication from phoneutria nigreventer's venom.

In the mean time, classmates, I would not encourage you to try to get bitten by random spiders in hopes of awesome effects.


1 comment:

  1. painful erections! no thanks. spiders' bad reputation lives on thanks to PnTx2-6.