No Bark Biter
“Its bark is worse than its bite,” as the old maxim goes, but fear not: arachnids of the species Metagryne bicolumnata are silent and their wee non-venomous fangs cannot pierce human skin. That said, these eight-legged relatives of the spider family (sounds almost homey, doesn’t it?) are eminently successful creatures. “Harvestmen have been around for at least 400 million years,” states photographer and Flickr member Andreas Kay, “and lived even before the dinosaurs.” Wow, how do you outlive the mighty dinosaurs? By freakin’ them out with your freakish appearance, is our guess!
Go Daddy Go
Indeed, the Bunny Harvestman is, er, unusual in aspect. Those of us who grew up in more northern climes only know of one harvestman: the classic Daddy Longlegs “spider” and its grayish, pebble-like, nondescript body. Still kinda creepy but yeah… leave it to the hellishly hot and humid Amazon River basin in deepest, darkest Ecuador to spawn a species of harvestman so utterly (yet sorta endearingly) “wrong” that it’s a wonder Ecuadorian kids manage to sleep at night.
Hedge of Darkness
The good thing about the Bunny Harvest man is it’s only about as big as your thumbnail, legs not included. The bad thing is, well, pretty much everything else. Metagryne bicolumnata have evolved bodies that look like animal heads, possibly as a way to frighten potential predators. It’s just a bonus of sorts that the “Baby Face from Toy Story” look tends to frighten everything and everybody else in the bargain.
The Eyes Have It
Those odd columnar spikes at the critter’s rear end may be what originally evoked the “bunny” comparison but on the whole, Metagryne bicolumnata’s body more closely resembles a dog’s head. Note the yellow eye-spots and, more to the front, the creature’s actual eyes situated where an actual dog would have its nose. So it’s got eyeballs in its nostrils, lovely.