Imagine how much the spiders hate it

I have to go pick up a colleague who is returning from a talk in California.

It’s -27°C outside. There may be a bit of transition shock.

Gosh, I sure hope the shuttle van has working heaters. I had to make that trip one time with no heat at all in the vehicle, on one of the coldest days of the year, and it was not pleasant.

On the optimistic side of things, this probably will not be the coldest day of the year here.


  1. says

    Is there any data on the minimum temperatures at which a spider can survive?

    And… how do they survive rural winters to reform a population come spring? Are there eggs that are left untended through the freezing period? Do they create underground burrows? They seem like they wouldn’t have enough mass to effectively hibernate since that requires some level of metabolism, even if slowed.

  2. jrkrideau says

    Seconding Tabby. Thanks for the metric. That is chilly. We are at a nice cozy -4 here

    Now if we can just get the USA to date things properly (Hint: ISO 8601 standard is really nice but just day-month-full year would be appreciated).

  3. says

    The University of Minnesota uses professors for shuttle drivers?

    Oh, I rather suspect that if you were a professor living in Morris and didn’t want to take some sort of public transit from Minneapolis home after your flight, you wouldn’t need a U of M policy. Nah, you’d just bribe one of your fellow professors with actual good food from one of the many restaurants in the big city that have no counterpart in Morris.

    Ethiopian? Peruvian? Vietnamese? It’s entirely possible that you simply can’t get that in Morris. A four hour round trip might be entirely worth it once novel deliciousness was thrown in.

  4. says

    Unfortunately, we no longer have shuttle service from Morris to the airport. Or maybe fortunately — the company that had vans with heaters that didn’t work in winter got out of the game.

    There is a shuttle from Alexandria, about 45 minutes away, to the airport. So now we’re kind of on our own to figure out how to get to & from Alexandria. I didn’t have a class this morning so I volunteered to drive a car-less colleague there.

  5. says

    My spiders go into diapause at -5°C. It gets a lot colder than that here, so mostly they die. Or migrate into some warm cozy house some human has built.

    Also, the snow is helpful. If you can burrow down below the snow or hide under a rock beneath the snow, you can spend the winter at 0°C or thereabouts.

  6. nomdeplume says

    I’ve seen an orb web spider frozen in its web at about -5 degrees C. PZ, I’ll swap your minus 29 for my plus 39 any day you want!

  7. blf says

    It was a bit cool tonight (currently, at about midnight, about 11 ℃, predicted to drop to perhaps 6 ℃ later on. Due to a touch of the Mistral, I opted to wear gloves (in addition to a light jacket…)). The locals thought it was cold (I presume), and so I was about the only person in the bar and restaurant. Not sure about the spiders (the one behind the display seems fine), zebrafishys (the Kraken are fine, if a bit hungry due to a shortage of sundrying long pig on the beaches), but the mildly deranged penguin is racing around tasting the various cheese shops — and the cheeses and cheesemongers they contain.

  8. garysturgess says

    Also, the snow is helpful. If you can burrow down below the snow or hide under a rock beneath the snow, you can spend the winter at 0°C or thereabouts.

    Dimly remembered chemistry lessons suggest that might be because of the latent heat thing? That effectively all the “coldness” goes into freezing more water rather than making the snow get colder?