A bizarre video of one of nature’s strangest arachnids is going viral on Twitter and it’s pretty obvious why — the arachnid appears as though it has a dog’s head grafted on top.
The weird arachnid, also known as the Bunny Harvestman, was documented by photographer Andreas Kay in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest in 2017.
It’s scientific name — Metagryne bicolumnata.
While it has eight spindly legs as you might expect, it also has a head that resembles a black dog, complete with two glowing yellow eyes, almost like a certain black dog from Harry Potter.
This is not a photoshopped image. This is a real photo of an actual living arachnid, a cousin of spiders, called the bunny harvestman (Metagryne bicolumnata)
But clearly it should be called THE GRIM
Photo by Andreas Kay pic.twitter.com/jcw75n1X62
— Ferris Jabr (@ferrisjabr) October 31, 2018
People on the Internet can’t decide, is the Bunny Harvestman adorable, or just downright creepy? Even the most arachnophobic among us might feel a little conflicted about this one.
Some Twitter users were even concerned that image might be photoshopped, but nope, the Bunny Harvestman is real and has actually been around for over 400 million years.
While in the photos the Bunny Harvestman appears quite large, the reality is that it is actually no larger than a human fingernail, and upon closer inspection, those glowing yellow eyes are nothing more than two deceptive eye-spots.
The actual eyes of the creature are located a little lower, and the dog ears are just an illusion, perhaps designed to fool predators into thinking it is bigger than it actually is.
Also, in case you were wondering, although the Bunny Harvestman does belong to the arachnid family, it is not a spider and is completely harmless. They feed on things like aphids, beetles, flies, mites, snails, earthworms, decaying plant matter, bird droppings, fungi, etc. But no, luckily humans are not part of their diet. This cute little arachnid doesn’t even have venom glands!
The other group of arachnids most similar to the Bunny Harvestman, are what we colloquially know as Daddy Long Legs, as they both belong to the Opiliones order.
While Opiliones live all over the world, they are most diverse in the tropical parts of South East Asia and South America.
The Bunny Harvestman in particular is endemic to the Amazon region of the world, and they typically live about a year.
And those long spindly legs of theirs? Completely disposable. If a predator happens to grab one, the harvestman will just leave it behind, still twitching to distract the predator while they make their escape.
While that about sums it up for the fascinating lives of these strange arachnids, one thing is for sure, we’ve certainly never seen anything like them before, and for now at least, the Bunny Harvestman can take pride in the fact that it is probably the most popular arachnid on the Internet.
Watch the video below to see the Bunny Harvestman up close and personal.
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