Evolution is for quitters


Edit: I am leaving the original post below because it frames the conversation nicely… but this is NOT a tick (thanks, ADobson, for the heads up). It’s a pseudo-scorpion. Who knew? Not me!

Yes, it’s a tick.

Millions of years of evolution, and they haven’t really changed. These creepy crawlies have been doing it the same way since before mammals climbed to the top of the food chain. They crawl up on something, wave their arms around, and wait for anything with blood to walk by. Ten legs worth of all out nasty… they’re built to eat and breed, and they are exceptionally suited to the task. And if they happen to give you a disease that kills you while they feast on your blood, the tick doesn’t care. It’s busy laying eggs to create hundreds more of the evil little things.



  1. When I first saw the tick, I was like “yuk, what the hell is this”. But I must say your explanation has made me ponder and think, that yeah, there is a lot of truth in what you are saying about the tick and the way it has survived all these years, content with doing the thing it does best. Sadly, we all are not so content, we want to be something better, the whole process of evolution, justifies that.

  2. Must say that you have used a lot of creativity to get this picture. Nice with the white background. I like the way you made the focus very clear without any distractions at all. The point you made about ticks is very valid. I am a science student and have studied a bit about ticks and the like so know about their evolution history and the like.

  3. I completely agree with Paul. The focus on the click is very much clear. But it just makes the insect look much more disgusting. I just hate ticks to the core. I have no idea what encouraged you to click a tick but you have surely made me hate it more after looking at its detailed structural appearance. This is one creature I wish evolves to look at least a little better but I guess its all in nature’s hands.

  4. I think only his one of the ten legs is quite enough for worth of all out nasty. But talking about your shot and its caption it is quite clear what you want to say. By posting this picture you have depicted the rule of the nature I think. From this picture I think, you have highlighted the strength of tick in this world. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  5. I’ve been waiting for some fun “getting past pneumonia photo”, and it’s a TICK?!!! ugh. LOL !!

  6. Hi there,

    He has little hands like a crab. Gross. Something so small that can cause so much grief. Very ugly.

  7. This time more than the picture what struck me was the entire thought process associated with it. The picture is ordinary with not much to say. But it is the entire process of evolution and the decision in time to not evolve that the tick as a species has taken for the eons of years that the earth and the ticks existed is a great insight. Thanks for the creativity coupled with the picture.

  8. No wonder you have a picture of a tick uploaded in your blog. I can imagine how it must be feeling to be suffering from pneumonia. A tick is the only thing you will come across laying on your bed the whole day waiting to recover. Professionally, its an amazing photograph but personally speaking, its disgusting to see such clear details of a tick. I just hope you recover soon and give us something to stare upon.

  9. It is sad to hear that you still have pneumonia, but it does not seem from your shots. You are posting good shots as usual. It is true that this creepy tick has not changed from the time of its evolution. I found your picture interesting and clearly understood the idea behind your shot. Thanks for posting interesting pictures as always! Take care!

  10. As Assistant #1 to the photographer, I recall having to hold the sheet of white paper and turning it so the creeper would say in frame while James snapped away. It was… awful.

  11. Interesting timing. I had a dinner conversation last night about creepy crawlies and ticks came up. We were discussing the evolutionary survial mechanisms that various deadly or annoying creatures possess. I’m pretty sure the massive arms in your picture serve the tick quite well!

  12. For me, picture depicts the strength of the tick which makes it survive in this world even after 100 years of its evolution. I don’t think that this creepy tick will be ever be able to compete with humans. It is just a part of nature which also strives to survive in this world like other creatures. Liked that you used white background to highlight him. Thanks for posting!

  13. Those ten legs of the creepy tick are really scary! By posting this picture you have shown the strength of this little creature. It is true unlike humans, it has not changed from the time it evolved, but that does not make him more stronger than man. I think it is just a nature’s wish to make him look like that from the time it evolved!

  14. That thing is a tick? Looks more like a small crab. I’ve only seen them without a head though.

  15. Lovely picture, though ugly little critters aren’t they?

  16. Eeeewwww! Sorry to be such a girl, but ticks gross me out! I suppose they gross most people out, but just the thought of one burrowing its’ little head into my skin makes me queasy. :/ Still an interesting picture though, it’s neat to see one so close up.

  17. Ok eww thats just gross haha. I’m impressed with the clarity you were able to achieve, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a tick that up close and personal before. I had no idea they had such big claws!

  18. I’m definitely going to agree with Jen on this one, gross! Not that I liked ticks before, but now I detest them, I’m never walking through long grass again lol. Oh nice shot too btw, the tick is so big and clear it’s totally creeping me out haha

  19. It creeps me out, too. :-)

  20. sounds a lot like humans, certainly not as cuddly though

  21. It’s amazing how something soo tiny can cause such grief, lol. After seeing this I would love to capture a tic and try my hand at some macro photography.

  22. Hey

    The pic is really nice and clear. But I don’t no I get this weird kind of feeling looking at these insects.

  23. This is not a tick. This is a pseudo-scorpion. Neither are insects – they’re both arachnids. Nice photo, though.

    • Wow – color me all kinds of wrong on the original post! Thanks for the correction. What do you know about pseudo-scorpions?

      • Almost nothing, I’m afraid! About ten years ago I found one on my window sill (about 2mm long) and sent it to the Museum of Natural History in London, as I didn’t know what the hell it was… Later I became a tick biologist, so I’m confident in telling them apart! Ticks never have pincers; they have eight legs (though typically only six as larvae) and then a narrow, short, mouth-like projection composed of three separate parts; the central part is the bit they stick into your skin. Still a cracking picture… How big was this?

  24. Whodathinkit.
    Looks like a tick but with claws of a scorpion… Both are fairly creepy!

  25. Looks nice ! Thanks

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