Sunday, 8 June 2014

Behind the door...

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is contraption. And this is one of the neatest contraptions in nature, I think. The hiding place built by the trapdoor spiders.

Trapdoor spiders make a fairly sophisticated hole (considering that they're spiders and all) and cover it with a trapdoor that's sort of cork-like in texture. It consists of soil, silk, and whatever plants may be around, and is attached to the hole with a silk hinge. When closed, the door almost perfectly camouflages the spider's den.

The spider waits, gripping the door closed, until a prey animal crosses one of the trip lines radiating from the burrow. Then the door is swiftly opened and the prey is whisked into the den.

Pretty cool contraption for a spider, especially considering that some of its Mygalomorph cousins (think tarantula) don't construct much of anything at all. But then, anyone who's followed this blog at all knows that I think spiders are pretty cool regardless.

This is a really quick doodle -- literally doodle this time -- in my pocket sketchbook, so you can imagine the size. It's still all about what my stupid wrist (YES, still) will let me do before things get really shaky. Fine control and weakened wrist just aren't getting along. It's easier with pencils (meaning, despite the lack of posts I'm still arting. Just nothing I've felt like introducing to the internet), but man do I miss working in pen. Ah well, nothing to do but keep trying.

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