Darwin's Talking Mite

"No, wait, I didn't order turtles." Jay Hosler is on the phone with the Juniata College mailroom -- more boxes marked "It's Alive!" have arrived. Yesterday a baby horseshoe crab, a brittle star, and a couple of sea cucumbers were delivered for students in his invertebrate-biology course; now Mr. Hosler is expecting not turtles but a tarantula and some dermestid beetles. ("These industrious scavenger insects devour organic matter -- the larvae will even clean a skeleton of muscle,