disk

‘Let Go - Avril Lavigne’ DataPlay disk (2002)

“DataPlay was an optical disk format for audio and data storage, introduced in 2002 (the company went out of business later that same year). It used a very small 32mm diameter disc with a capacity of 500 MB enclosed in a protective cartridge. DataPlay was used for portable music playback, and a small number of pre-recorded albums were released. They were recordable, but only write-once like CD-R.”

Ancient coin? Oreo cookie? Nope…

Meet the spiders of genus Cyclocosmia (also called trapdoor spiders). The abdomens of the spiders belonging in this group look like they’ve been cut in half, then elaborately carved by a master craftsman to resemble mayan suns (http://bit.ly/1WrfwCM, http://bit.ly/1SyUP1T), or even oreo cookies (http://bit.ly/1N81cwM)…okay, that last one is the product of a masterful photoshop job, but my point stands. The ribs, grooves, and patterns at the end of the abdomen add strength to the already hardened disk, which the spider uses when threatened. It burrows into the ground about 7-15cm (2.75-5.9 inches) deep, its disk facing skyward: an impenetrable barrier against hungry predators. Using your own body as a burrow barrier is known as phragmosis, and the effectiveness and camouflage of Cyclocosmia’s barrier is enough for them to be considered among the rarest spiders.

VP

References: http://bit.ly/1qHv49z
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons (http://bit.ly/1Sf1LXW)