How jumping spiders can distinguish the living from the non-living

Eight-eyed arachnids can tell when an object's movement is not quite right.

Credit: oleg / Adobe Stock
  • The ability to distinguish lifelike and non-lifelike movements is an important survival skill.
  • Harvard scientists discovered that at least one invertebrate can do this.
  • Scientists tested jumping spiders as they watched an animation and scuttled about on a floating treadmill.
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Spiders lace webs in toxins to paralyze prey

Just what every arachnophobe needed to hear.

Luciano Marra from São Paulo, Brasil - Aranha de Teia (Nephila clavipes), CC BY-SA 2.0
  • A new study suggests some spiders might lace their webs with neurotoxins similar to the ones in their venom.
  • The toxins were shown to be effective at paralyzing insects injected with them.
  • Previous studies showed that other spiders lace their webs with chemicals that repel large insects.
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Spiders eat 800 million tons of prey per year, more than humans and whales

A Swiss scientist identifies the top predator in the world in a new study.

A spider in the English countryside. Credit: Getty Images.
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