My friend and neighbor Tyler Williamson (introductory posts here and here) has been serving in Iraq for about a year. During that time he has been shelled and shot at, sunburned and sand-blinded, overworked, underpaid and much too far from home. But he’s the kind of guy who can handle this sort of thing.
For my benefit (and his, I’m sure) Tyler has been sending occasional pictures of the Iraqi wildlife he encounters, from magpie-like Pied Crows, to bronzed river carp to a long-legged kind of native fox. Today he sent this, which evidently caused quite a stir at headquarters.
The troops call them “camel spiders” and give them due respect. They are in fact spider-relatives, solpugids (the Solifugae), a gruesome lot combining all the “best” features of spiders, scorpions and bedtime closet monsters.