By J. Henri Fabre
Smooth Entomologic booklet of the early 20th century through the physicist and botanist Jean-Henri Fabre. he's thought of by way of many to be the daddy of contemporary entomology.
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Extra resources for The Life of the Spider
The fool is incapable of doing so. She makes a wild rush and seizes haphazard at one time her property, at another my sham product. Whatever is first touched becomes a good capture and is forthwith hung up. If I increase the number of cork balls, if I put in four or five of them, with the real pill among them, it is seldom that the Lycosa recovers her own property. Attempts at enquiry, attempts at selection there are none. Whatever she snaps up at random she sticks to, be it good or bad. As there are more of the sham pills of cork, these are the most often seized by the Spider.
Why not live on sun, seeing that, after all, we find naught but sun in the fruits which we consume? Chemical science, that bold revolutionary, promises to provide us with synthetic foodstuffs. The laboratory and the factory will take the place of the farm. Why should not physical science step in as well? It would leave the preparation of plastic food to the chemist’s retorts; it would reserve for itself that of energy-producing food, which, reduced to its exact terms, ceases to be matter. With the aid of some ingenious apparatus, it would pump into us our daily ration of solar energy, to be later expended in movement, whereby the machine would be kept going without the often painful assistance of the stomach and its adjuncts.
The Lycosa descends cautiously from her turret, goes to some distance to get rid of her burden and quickly dives down again to bring up more. We have seen enough: we know that the Lycosa’s fangs, those lethal weapons, are not afraid to bite into clay and gravel. They knead the excavated rubbish into pellets, take up the mass of earth and carry it outside. The rest follows naturally; it is the fangs that dig, delve and extract. How finely-tempered they must be, not to be blunted by this wellsinker’s work and to do duty presently in the surgical operation of stabbing the neck!