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This just in: Insects give gifts!

Join the scorpion flies and spiders of the world (shrikes and bonobos too). Give a present - to Crosscut.
Make like a garden spider: give a gift. Just, not a dead bug.

Make like a garden spider: give a gift. Just, not a dead bug. Kilarin/Flickr

Yeah, it’s me again. And you know why I’m here.

But before I get to that, there’s this: According to Natalie Angier, The New York Times’ nonpareil science writer, bugs give gifts, as in insects bestow presents on other insects.

Sex is often the driver of this generosity. The male scorpionfly pretty much has one thing on his mind when he coughs up a protein-packed spitball for his favorite girl. Ditto the garden spider who wanders around the woods waving a gift-wrapped (in silk) insect — at great peril to himself, mind you, since the burden makes the spider 60 percent slower.

The impulse to exchange these so-called “nuptial” —and other — gifts “is ancient, transcultural and by no means limited to Homo sapiens,” writes Angier. Bugs, spiders, molluscs, birds, bonobos, they all do it. So why not you?

It’s a simple transaction. No nuptials involved. We give you news (and ideas and analysis, etc.) all day, every day throughout the year; you give us your hard-earned money. And take the tax deduction, as long as you make that gift by midnight tonight.

Giving to Crosscut is way easier than coughing up a spitball or hauling a dead bug around. Just:

  • Click here to donate online;
  • Call us at 206-382-6137 and we’ll take your pledge over the phone;
  • Snailmail your gift to our offices at 105 S. Main Suite 330 Seattle, WA 98104;
  • Or email your pledge to membership@crosscut.com.

And you'll get to bask in the warm glow of our appreciation all year long. Or, at least until our spring fund drive rolls around. ;)

Mary Bruno is the Editor-in-Chief of Crosscut.

Like what you just read? Support high quality local journalism. Become a member of Crosscut today!


Posted Tue, Dec 31, 10:03 a.m. Inappropriate

This just in: Spiders aren't insects!

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