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Why aren't we immune to spiders

  1. Nov 1, 2006 #1
    Ok, now as usual if you need information on something you research, i get fed up with letting people know how to use "google" to look up information about what theyre asking, but the reason im asking this here, without any research has a reason.

    Spiders... alot are quite venomous, but we arent we immune to this?

    They are not part of our food chain, and we are not part of theres.

    So it cant be a defence mech for them, because "apart from the sheer arrogance of standing on them" would they originally have to poison us to possibly even disable us?

    There's probably lots of other animals you could shove into replacement of a spider, but im very curious, as im going to be starting some intensive yet quick research of the House Spider after christmas, especially the AHS (aggressive house spider), and Im pretty curious on some 'factual' replies on here, or semi factual with maybe some theories chucked in?

    There could be a million myths on other websites if I google it, and probably 3 billion theories without logic, not only that, im half tanked on carling extra cold, but what the hell... i want to conversate this topic :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 1, 2006 #2


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    "Spiders... [a lot] are quite venomous, but [aren't] we immune to this? They are not part of our food chain, and we are not part of [theirs]."

    If that's the core of your question, I think the reason is that poisons use some chemical means to work, and the chemistry of life is very similar across the different species. A venom may be more or less lethal to us compared to the normal prey, but it can still hurt us a lot and in some cases cause severe reactions and death.
  4. Nov 1, 2006 #3
    Damn spelling with lager :rolleyes:

    Ok, so if we look at this from some form of 'realistic' view from what we already know of "the point of life" then could it just be coincidence that we aren't immune to it/them? Or maybe a mis-happ upon development? Is moi making sense, or just drunk... :grumpy:
  5. Nov 1, 2006 #4


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    I think i was bitten by a spider, whilst visiting the water closet, i had a 1/2inch lump for a week.
  6. Nov 1, 2006 #5


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    Mostly (b). But I think there are some cases in evolution where a species has developed an immunity over time to certain poisons that its prey uses in self-defense. Help me out here with some examples -- I know there are some, but none come immediately to mind. Like the mongoose and the cobra or something....:uhh:
  7. Nov 1, 2006 #6
    Butterflies and food plants?

    Yer, I get what you mean, so maybe over a course of the next 20,000 years we could expect near enough complete immunity... :eek:
  8. Nov 1, 2006 #7


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    Er, no. Evolution does not happen on demand, and not in 20,000 years. To do it quickly, you'll need some genetic engineering.
  9. Nov 1, 2006 #8


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    We aren't immune to spider bites because we don't get bitten often enough to develop any sort of immunity. That is, if there isn't an allergic response that would get worse with repeated exposure rather than better.

    Most spider bites won't do more than make us a little itchy, no worse than a mosquito. The few that are poisonous to us are so mostly because their poison acts on their prey in the same way it acts on us. In many cases, the venoms contain neurotoxins, and since neurons in humans have very similar physiology to neurons in insects, they aren't species-specific. Other dangerous venoms are ones that destroy cells, any cells, so again, they act on us because they are non-specific.
  10. Nov 3, 2006 #9

    jim mcnamara

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    FWIW -
    Soem spider species and relatives lack the "fang power" to penetrate deeply enough through our skin to cause a big problem, i.e., more than a small bump.

    Example: Daddy-longlegs.
  11. Nov 3, 2006 #10


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    I'm sorry, what exactly is the question being asked here?

    Why are spiders venomous?
    Why are we not immune? (Why would we be?)
    Why did someone give DannyC internet access when he's been drinking?
    Why are people responding to someone who's been given internet access when he's been drinking?
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