The first time Greta Binford really paid attention to spiders was in a Peruvian rainforest where hundreds of thousands of spiders worked together to weave webs as big as semi-trailer trucks. The young biologist — part Indiana Jones, part Spider Woman — never looked back.
She's now tracked spiders all over the world. Beautiful spiders. Ugly spiders. Spiders that jump, spiders that sing, spiders that sound like Harley Davidsons. Spiders that hunt snakes and lizards. Spiders that kill. She tracks them down, brings them home, and milks their venom. She's wild for spiders. Today we talk with intrepid spider hunter, arachnologist Greta Binford, on her marvelous obsession with spiders.
Photo: Jumping spider Habronattus americanus, a common species in northwestern North America (Photo Copyright Wayne Maddison)
Greta Binford, Assistant Professor of Biology at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She's the subject of the recent New Yorker article, "Spider Woman: Hunting venomous species in the basements of Los Angeles."
This program aired on February 28, 2007.