I’ll try, as is usual, to keep this not too long. But it involves two of my favourite topics, research projects that make me wonder ‘Why?’ and weird facts about animals.

There’s a parasitic worm that specialises in tarantulas. So I read, anyway. Apparently it infests tarantulas, enters via the mouth, and affects the fangs. Weird things happen in the ‘red in tooth fang and claw world of the animal kingdom’, don’t they? I mean, that’s a pretty niche market, isn’t it? Worms infesting tatantulas. Eh?

It gets better. Infected tarantulas walk on tiptoe. Huh? WTF? How do you tell if an arachnid is on tiptoe? They don’t even have toes, for goodness sake. But apparently, we have spiders tiptoeing about. If you happen to be an arachnophobe, that may give you a few sleepless nights.

Neatly, the researchers who detected the worm named it Tarantobelus jeffdanielsi. Jeff Daniels of course starred in the 1990 film Arachnophobia.

Not a bad deal. Star in a junk schlock movie and get a species named after you. Think he’ll be going for royalties?