Friday, January 28, 2005

Female Spiders Love Performers: "Elias noticed that male spiders that both sang and danced were successful in attracting female mates. Those who just danced got little love action, which indicates that the female spider's sensory perception of the singing, along with her visual approval of the male's dance routines, are both important elements within the jumping spider mating ritual."

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Thought Experiments: From today, I will be putting down some thought experiments. These are mostly experiments that I would like to do but can't because 1. it's out of my scope or 2. may be un-doable.

Here's the first one. There is a genus called Phonognatha which is called a leaf curling spider, because it places a leaf in the centre of the web and uses the leaf as a retreat. The leaf is usually twisted into a cylindrical shape, hence the name. It would be cool to place an individual in a glass cage and give it only one artificial material, say like a ribbon or something and see if it uses the material anyway. Bit of an art project really, bio-art.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

How do you milk a Funnel Web Spider?: "Jacqui Adam-Maher milks the spiders for a living as the Australian Reptile Park's 'Spider Girl'." More info: here.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Pachygnatha zappa: "Etymology. Zappa is a noun in apposition. This species epithet is given in honor of the twentieth century composer Frank Zappa (1941-1993), well known for both his serious and commercial music. The dark grey mark on the ventral side of the abdomen of the female of this species strikingly resembles the artist's legendary moustache"
Spider of the Year 2005 The Zebra Spider (Salticus scenicus)

Monday, January 17, 2005

Sexual cannibalism: "Gentlemanlike, he courts her. She eats him for his trouble. Most unladylike. Sexual cannibalism is rife among St Andrew's Cross spiders"

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Artificial Spider Silk Could Be Used for Armor, More"Randy Lewis is a professor of molecular biology at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. His team of researchers has successfully sequenced genes related to spider-silk production—uncovering the formula that spiders use to make silk from proteins. In the process the team acquired a better understanding of how the silk's structure is related to its amazing strength and elastic properties.

Their next task will be using what they've learned to spin spider silk themselves.

"Hopefully in the next month we'll start spinning fibers,""

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Spiders Watch Their Diets Too "Spiders and insects that eat other creepy crawlies purposely seek a balanced diet to maintain their health, according to a new study. Scientists found that three predatory invertebrates—all of which use different hunting methods—adjust their feeding to correct nutritional deficiencies. "

Saturday, January 01, 2005