My graduate students are a very talented bunch – they are intelligent, creative, and have a good sense of humour. Some of our lab group celebrated birthdays recently, and in honour of this, we had two cakes earlier this week. The first, made by MSc student Sarah Loboda, is the VERY BEST SPIDER CAKE I have ever seen (or eaten!). Check this out:
Of course, let’s discuss how anatomically correct that cake is! Two body parts, pedicel, eight legs (coming from the cephalothorax, of course), and a bunch of eyes.
As you may know, most spiders in Canada have eight eyes, but since some do have six, I find it quite acceptable that this spider has six eyes. Furthermore, not all spider eyes are identical so it is appropriate to have two kinds represented on the cake. Well done, Sarah.
And in case that STUNNING MASTERPIECE isn’t enough, another student (Dorothy Maguire) made a cake that is a very good approximation for the female epigynum of wolf spiders in the genus Pardosa.
And not just any Pardosa: this is diagnostically similar to one of the species that graduate student Katie Sim is working on! Incredible!
….want some proof – look at this image, taken from Dondale & Redner’s text on the Lycosidae of Canada. Enough said.