Shake your silk-maker
September 18, 2014 8:12 PM   Subscribe

The dance of the peacock spider "With their ornately-colored bodies, rhythmic pulsations, and booty-shaking dance moves, male peacock spiders attract the attention of spectating females as well as researchers. One such animal behavior specialist, Madeline Girard, collected more than 30 different peacock spider species from the wilds of Australia and brought them back to her lab at UC Berkeley. Under controlled conditions, she recorded their unique dances in the hopes of deciphering what these displays actual say to a female spider and how standards differ between species.'
posted by dhruva (23 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
 
I love those little dudes! They are remarkably smart for having insect brains, too.
posted by tavella at 8:23 PM on September 18, 2014


Sparklemuffin!

(WHAT A COOL PLANET!)
posted by tarantula at 8:23 PM on September 18, 2014 [11 favorites]


Someone has a *lot* of time of their hands...



(thankfully)
posted by kjs3 at 8:49 PM on September 18, 2014


"with their ornately-colored bodies, rhythmic pulsations, and booty-shaking dance moves, male humans attract the attention of spectating females..."

i have a rock garden, and last spring i noticed a beautiful but short-lived phenomenon, a small silvery web with hundreds of little yellow dots, baby spiders that had just hatched. when i blew at them, they would contract a little, then expand. i went inside for awhile and when i came back, they were all gone. how many of them are alive now?
posted by bruce at 8:55 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


The dance of the peacock spider "With their ornately-colored bodies, rhythmic pulsations, and booty-shaking dance moves, male peacock spiders attract the attention of spectating females as well as researchers.

Having seen my dad dance at weddings, I just now realize I may be half-spider.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:56 PM on September 18, 2014 [10 favorites]


I thought we already knew what those dances meant: "Don't eat me; I'm here for sex."
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:58 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


richochet biscuit, is this guy your dad?
posted by contraption at 9:06 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is really, really fantastic.
posted by rtha at 9:21 PM on September 18, 2014


I love peaockspiderman's videos (if you have seen a peacock spider dance video before, it was likely his.) This is some cool new information- using the nylon to record the percussion is ingenious. Li'l booty spiders.



"Moves like Jagger" though? CRINGE.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:37 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think I've told this story before, but in case not..

I accidentally broke open a mudnest wasp's nest while camped by a river once. A whole lot of pretty little dead spiders fell out. I'd seen something rising to insects in a pool on the river, so I grabbed a palmful of spiders and wandered over to toss them in. Turned out to be trout. It was kind of fun feeding them, watching their zippy darting movements and the way they gleefully smashed the spiders on the surface. So I went and got another handful of little spiders, and started chucking them in again.

And then one of the spiders moved. They weren't dead, only paralysed. I felt so fucking guilty..
posted by Ahab at 9:38 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Well, they probably had wasp larva inside them, so trout-death was likely a mercy.
posted by tavella at 9:43 PM on September 18, 2014 [15 favorites]


I really, really want the raw audio files of spider dance rhythms so I can goof around with them because that's just terriffic. Actual. Spider. Rhythms. Feel the bass!
posted by bigbigdog at 9:44 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


I really wish I had stuck with that spider semaphore course I was taking.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 10:36 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


(previously) (related)
posted by lazaruslong at 10:40 PM on September 18, 2014


Revulsion mixed with unbridled joy is not the way I wanted to end the evening. My dreams are going to be SO fucked up tonight. Thanks, I think.
posted by not_on_display at 10:42 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


i have a rock garden, and last spring i noticed a beautiful but short-lived phenomenon, a small silvery web with hundreds of little yellow dots, baby spiders that had just hatched. when i blew at them, they would contract a little, then expand. i went inside for awhile and when i came back, they were all gone. how many of them are alive now?
As time went on, and the months and years came, and went, he was never without friends. Fern did not come regularly to the barn any more. She was growing up, and was careful to avoid childish things, like sitting on a milk stool near a pigpen. But Charlotte's children and grandchildren and great grandchildren, year after year, lived in the doorway. Each spring there were new little spiders hatching out to take the place of the old. Most of them sailed away, on their balloons. But always two or three stayed and set up housekeeping in the doorway.

Mr. Zuckerman took fine care of Wilbur all the rest of his days, and the pig was often i ted by friends and admirers, for nobody ever forgot the year of his triumph and the miracle of the web. Life in the barn was very good - night and day, winter and summer, spring and fall, dull days and bright days. It was the best place to be, thought Wilbur, this warm delicious cellar, with the garrulous geese, the changing seasons, the heat of the sun, the passage of swallows, the nearness of rats, the sameness of sheep, the love of spiders, the smell of manure, and the ´┐╝´┐╝glory of everything.

Wilbur never forgot Charlotte. Although he loved her children and grandchildren dearly, none of the new spiders ever quite took her place in his heart. She was in a class by herself. It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.
Probably not many of them. But enough survived that there are descendants who will also survive. And this is the nature of spider life.
posted by hippybear at 1:14 AM on September 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


We still occasionally do the peacock spider dance at home. I have to show the kid this new one with the massive wiggly spinnerets that look like a star-nosed mole escaping a spider's abdomen.
posted by pracowity at 1:56 AM on September 19, 2014


I couldn't help but read this post's body in David Attenborough's voice.
posted by CaseyB at 5:17 AM on September 19, 2014


So it's up to me to come in with the xkcd, apparently.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 5:20 AM on September 19, 2014


Nothing worse than spending all night dancing for a woman who turns out to be dead and just held in place with wax. : (
posted by orme at 7:28 AM on September 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


Also previously.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:55 AM on September 19, 2014


richochet biscuit, is this guy yt your dad?

If that video were recut and synced to George Benson's On Broadway, I'd say yes.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:37 AM on September 22, 2014


AHHHHHHHH SCIENCE IS SO COOL NATURE IS SO COOL wuzzawuzzawuzza whooza cute spider huh?

I love peaockspiderman's videos

Followed like whoa.
posted by Lexica at 10:18 PM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


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