Understanding spiders
August 1, 2018 10:18 AM   Subscribe

What does it take to understand spiders? False eyelashes, capes and face paint "By covering up or adding stripes to the live spiders, then observing interactions between them, Taylor and her students get clues to coloration’s influence. That requires putting makeup on a tiny spider, ... (and) then watches what happens"
posted by dhruva (11 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
 
Spider coloring books! I'm not big on spiders but those are super cute.
posted by Fig at 10:26 AM on August 1


dhruva, I’m always thrilled to see your spider posts and am glad you’re here. Thanks, this is amazing!
posted by curious nu at 10:53 AM on August 1 [4 favorites]


Capes and false eyelashes, sure, but wasn't face paint more of an Aladdin Sane thing?
posted by ckape at 11:28 AM on August 1 [6 favorites]


it's awesome to see students tackling ambitious research questions like this
posted by rebent at 11:39 AM on August 1


Spiders of Earth
posted by otherchaz at 12:16 PM on August 1


I've painted dead spiders who wander into a pool of glue or paint I have around in studio, never a live one though for many reasons. Looks like the researchers here aren't creating convincing fake spiders just yet, but it won't be long before the little guys behind your toilet can start ordering their own spider real dolls to keep them company while they ensnare cute little geckos who took a walk on the bad side of town.
posted by GoblinHoney at 12:54 PM on August 1 [2 favorites]


I don't know why I thought this would feature small unassuming cute nonterrifying tiny little bitty spiders with teensy little dabs of rouge on their cheeks but I did and I have regrets.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:38 PM on August 1 [8 favorites]


One of the few things I claim, without hesitation, to be genuinely good at is having steady tweezer hands. I've painted things with the angle-cut edges of actual human hairs more often than I should probably admit, since it usually indicates a desperate and rushed attempt to repair a stupid lithography mistake.

But. . . I've always had use of a really good microscope. Also, the things I painted weren't MOVING AROUND at the time. Those are some mad tweezer skills on display. Neat!

The spider behavior stuff is also very cool. I don't know enough to know whether it's common in the field, but, as a way to control for unexpected traits, making spiders and termites look like other spiders and termites is a lovely idea.
posted by eotvos at 2:33 PM on August 1 [4 favorites]


I don't know why I thought this would feature small unassuming cute nonterrifying tiny little bitty spiders with teensy little dabs of rouge on their cheeks but I did and I have regrets.

same, pb, same
posted by numaner at 3:29 PM on August 1


GoblinHoney: Looks like the researchers here aren't creating convincing fake spiders just yet

In other jumping spiders, they managed to get a realistic response using just dead female spiders, so maybe movement/vibrations is not key. I found the difference between 'savvier' spiders and dumb ones interesting. Why do the models fool some individuals? There's a whole study right there.
posted by dhruva at 8:52 PM on August 1 [3 favorites]


What a great story about interdisciplinary research! Thanks for sharing it, dhruva.

Oddly, I was having a conversation with a friend the other night about both spider mating dances and adult colouring books. Going to send him the link to this piece now. :)
posted by daisyk at 8:13 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


« Older The most dangerous place in the developed world to...   |   I'd like to kick the world a Coke Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments