And so cute, too…


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Baby spider (Carrhotus xanthogramma juvenile)/Pierre Anquet

“No one knows, incidentally, why Australia’s spiders are so extravagantly toxic; capturing small insects and injecting them with enough poison to drop a horse would appear to be the most literal case of overkill. Still, it does mean that everyone gives them lots of space.”

Bill Bryson, “In a Sunburned Country” (2001)

3 thoughts on “And so cute, too…

  1. Charlotte says:

    Spiders are much smarter than you think : Researchers are discovering surprising capabilities among a group of itsy-bitsy arachnids. https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/10/spiders-are-much-smarter-than-you-think/
    “There is this general idea that probably spiders are too small, that you need some kind of a critical mass of brain tissue to be able to perform complex behaviors,” says arachnologist and evolutionary biologist Dimitar Dimitrov of the University Museum of Bergen in Norway. “But I think spiders are one case where this general idea is challenged. Some small things are actually capable of doing very complex stuff.”
    Behaviors that can be described as “cognitive,” as opposed to automatic responses, could be fairly common among spiders, says Dimitrov, coauthor of a study on spider diversity published in the 2021 Annual Review of Entomology. From orb weavers that adjust the way they build their webs based on the type of prey they are catching to ghost spiders that can learn to associate a reward with the smell of vanilla, there’s more going on in spider brains than they commonly get credit for.
    “Spider Diversification Through Space and Time” Annual Review of Entomology https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev-ento-061520-083414

  2. Ms. Muffet says:

    Spiders’ movements are tracked by scientists as they weave their webs : Johns Hopkins researchers used night vision and AI tools to reveal shared set of rules. https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/11/scientists-tracked-these-spiders-every-movement-as-they-wove-their-webs/
    Distinct movement patterns generate stages of spider web building https://www.cell.com/current-biology/pdfExtended/S0960-9822(21)01270-7
    Markov model https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markov_model

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