Tuesday, 21 March 2017

My Tarantula Has Turned Into A Different Species!?

Chrysa my tarantula spiderling has changed species overnight, once known as an Avicularia Versicolor she has 'magically transformed' and in so doing has become part of a newly recognised genus known as the Caribena and shall now be known as the Caribena Versicolor.

Okay, so quite obviously my tarantula hasn't changed one bit but rather two Arachnologists have created a new genus in which the Versicolor will now fall under as of March 2017. What makes them fall under this new Caribena genus and no longer part of the Avicularia?

Well there are two main reasons why this genus has been created and so far only two tarantulas have been accepted; both of which were previously part of the Avicularia Genus. Unlike Avicularia, Caribena are found in the Antilles whereas Avicularia species are found in mainland South and Central America. The other reason for this separation is a physical characteristic as Caribena are distinguished by having longer and thinner type II urticating hairs in a conspicuous patch on the upper surface of the abdomen. 

Interesting right!? I imagine that changing species is hard work but Chrysa doesn't seem too fussed about it all.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

10 Things You Didn't Know About Me

I thought i would do a little blog post today so you can all get to know me a bit better, whether you're a friend or acquaintance there is always something to learn about a person. So here are ten unusual things about me that you'd probably only know if you knew me well:

1. I have a phobia of condiments, yeah, that means ketchup, salsa and the scariest of them all... mayonnaise. So truth is if you want to scare me you don't have to go to great lengths, hold a spoon of mayo in front of me and there's a possibility i'll cry, weird right?

2. I have a dog called Ollie, most of you probably know that, but unlike Pip he technically is not the family's dog, he is mine. However if i move out, there's no way he'll be coming with me, i've been told and i know he'd hate to leave his favourite person anyway, my mum.

3. Only recently have i begun to enjoy tea. Doesn't seem like a big deal unless you're british and the disliking of tea makes you a bonafide criminal. I feel like i should have been thrown a tea party.

4. I have a hard time pronouncing the word 'Wild' and 'Water'. Yeah, i have no explanation for this one but 'Wild' sounds more like 'Wald' and 'Water' sounds like 'Wa-er'. Unfortunately as water was my favourite beverage growing up i'd get teased about it frequently.

5. I used to be 'obese' *eye roll*, so i would never call little Amy obese but my BMI would. I was most certainly over weight which meant i got a hard time at secondary school and i'd try to get through my days with my mouth shut and eyes down, which apparently makes you more visible. Needless to say i had enough of being bullied and i lost the weight but of course being bullied leads to a whole other plethora of problems that i still struggle with to this day, so don't be a dick.

6. I have Pompholyx, and so you're thinking 'what on earth is that?' Pompholyx also known as Dyshidrotic eczema is well, exactly that... eczema except it only affects the hands and feet characterised by little itchy blisters. Now you could google it and be pretty horrified by what you see but i personally only get it very mildly on my hands when an irritant comes into contact with my skin, here's a picture of mild Pompholyx for the curious.

7. I have a habit of lying down with my legs in the air, right, imagine the foetus position, you know when you're snug on your side in bed all curled up, now flip yourself onto your back but your legs are still scrunched up, yeah that's me. I don't usually notice i'm doing it until someone points it out and tells me how uncomfortable it looks; it's comfy.

8. Definitely is a word that i can't spell, yes, i even got it wrong then; let's thank spell checker. 'Definitly', can we remove the 'e' please? No matter how many times i know i get it wrong i can't seem to remember to get it right the next time.

9. I'm allergic to Nickel. No, this is not a scam so that people have to buy me expensive jewellery, first of all nobody is buying me jewellery anyway. It is in fact rather annoying, i have to be very careful especially with my piercings. So those cute shark earrings i bought from Claire's, nope.

10. As a youngster i was obsessed with touching soft things, my friend had a beautiful big scruffy dog called Jake and i'd lie down on the floor (lying on floors is still a passion of mine) with him and rub his ears between my thumb and index finger until i fell asleep. I'd also walk around with my mum's bras over my head as i stroked the silky labels, i'm sure there are photos. Now i just rub my wrinkle rat on my face, he has magical velvet skin.

So there you have it, 10 things you may not have known about me. Trust me there are some corkers that i've not written about but i mean i can't share all of my secrets!

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Welcome To The World Baby Jack

On Sunday 18th September (Just!) my cousin Sarah and her husband Greg* gave birth to a little baby boy named Jack. Today my mum and I got to meet the little cutie, we both got cuddles although he decided to be very vocal and i'm definitely not in tune with babies, i don't know what they want and i don't know how to fix them. 

He cried a lot, because he was hungry and if he wasn't hungry he had wind, then he had a full nappy and of course he doesn't like to be nakey. He was still super cute with his little grump face. 
Babies are tough, huge kudos to mums around the world.

(* Greg did not give birth)

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Skin Diver Body Modification

Today i decided i wanted a new piercing and one that i'd recently been thinking about was a dermal anchor in my hand. I had to phone four places before i found someone that would be willing to put one in my hand due to the high chance of it getting caught and being pulled out.

I went into Abacus in Derby and the piercing lady informed me that a skin diver would be a much better piercing for my hand, it works very similar to a dermal anchor but it's smaller and i will not be able to change the top, it does not unscrew. Because of that i chose a simple silver one but there were many colours to choose from, spikes, rainbow gemstones, it took me a good five minutes to pick one.

So the pain, pretty much painless. The area was frozen and if anything it's just a very bizarre sensation, she took a very tiny metal rod that is very much like an apple corer and took out a small circle chunk of my skin and in goes the diver, the things i do right!?

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Getting My First Tarantula

Today i adopted my first ever Tarantula, i have wanted a T since i was a little girl, yes i've always been weird and talking to people today they can remember me going on and on about a particular T that i wanted after seeing it in a reptile house on a trip with my family. Well that T was the Pinktoe (Avicularia avicularia) native to Costa Rica, Brazil and the Southern Caribbean. I mean look at their little foot nubs, they're baby pink and something in little Amy thought that that was the most adorable thing she ever did see on a spider.

Of course it's taken me about 12 years to take the dive into owning one, whilst i'm not afraid of insects*, including spiders (i get that very much from my dad) i always assumed they'd be a hassle to keep requiring all sorts of expensive equipment. Turns out whilst some probably do there are many that do not and my little Pinktoe is one of those.

Pinktoe's are a new world arboreal species, this means they have urticating hairs and live high up opposed to on ground. They are docile but can run and jump very quickly and will flee rather than fight, they have a unique defence which involves flicking their faeces at potential predators. Whilst they do have urticating hairs they can not flick them off of their abdomen.

They are often a favourite for beginner's due to their docile nature and easy keep. I bought Rhodon with the cage he was already in to reduce any stress but i'm looking to replace it soon as it doesn't have as much height as i feel an arboreal species should have.

Believe it or not, until today i had never held a tarantula, so whilst being near a tarantula would not worry me actually having contact with one made me a little nervous. Rhodon is so light and fluffy though that it put my nerves to rest quickly and the more you do something the less out of the ordinary it becomes.

*with the exception of wasps/hornets, they terrify me dearly.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Swimming With Sharks At London SeaLife Aquarium

At the weekend i did something amazing... I swam with the sharks at the London SeaLife Aquarium! Swimming with the sharks was my Christmas gift from my boyfriend Alex, sadly on Christmas day i broke my arm and couldn't do the dive on the 2nd January as planned. London sealife were very kind and rearranged us for the 9th April because we knew i'd be up and running again by then. 

I travelled by train down to my boyfriends flat in London where i proceeded to have a nap, i mean it was super early. We headed on down to London Sealife for 12 noon, we were given instructions to arrive an hour before the shark diving time at 1:30pm. We had a quick wander and at 12:30pm we were taken on a backstage tour for an hour to see everything that goes on from fish in quarantine, a rebel turtle and of course finally the backstage shark tank where they keep all the big ones! 

Quick briefing and costume sizing done we were sent to get changed, there were three people diving including me and three spectators including Alex. I was first one in of course, getting prime position and i stayed in awe for the full 20 minutes, it flew by! Watching my favourite animals swim right up next to me, i mean it was breath taking and you can see the sort of view i had in the video despite the poor quality. The sharks i swam with were Black Tip Reef Sharks (a shark i have swam with in the ocean before), Nurse Sharks, Sand Tiger Sharks & Brown Sharks. 

It's something i'd do again for sure but i hope to get scuba qualified soon and have more experiences like this in the big blue sea, no net included!

Sunday, 10 April 2016

London Cat Village Remember Us

Have you ever been somewhere so much that they begin to remember you? Well Alex & I have and it happens to be the best place in the world... London Cat Village. Every time we go there we are remembered, perhaps because it's a tourist place where most people go once for the experience, not us, we go all the time and we love it. 

If you have never been and aren't far away then get yourself down there but make sure to book as not to be disappointed. I've already taken a pen pal there and other pen pals have gone since i have told them about my visits, it's just a great place.

Of course there are cats but the food is also worth visiting for, they do a range of light snacks and cake. As you can see i chose the delicious passion fruit cheese cake, yum yum! The man whom i can only assume is the manager also gave us both a free gourmet chocolate chip cookie with chocolate drizzle on the house, ahem, yes that's right cats and free cookies! Sometime's being remembered pays off...

We've been going since some of the cats were wee baby kittens and it's brilliant to see how they've grown, there's a particular cat that was a kitten when we first met him that captured my heart. He's a Scottish Fold cat called Oscar and sadly i didn't see him this time but i know he's still there.

Yesterday i did something pretty spectacular, so watch this space tomorrow...