1. anxionnat says

    I learned almost 40 years ago to love tarantulas. A friend who owned a jewelry store got a South American tarantula (it was a warm brown with orange spots on its “knees”.) I was astonished to find out that this species ha eight eyes! My friend, the jewelry shop owner, said that he usually had a robbery every six months to a year. So he got the tarantula and posted big signs around his shop saying, “This shop protected by [name], South American tarantula.” Apparently people were so scared of tarantulas that the robberies stopped! Later, I worked at a teaching lab, and several tarantulas, local species that are dark brown, were on my feeding list. They ate crickets.) I worked at that work-study job for six to eight months, and never got tired of watching the tarantulas, snakes, iguanas, and other creatures. Some other students were afraid of the tarantulas and refused to have anything to do with them. After a month or so, the tarantulas got used to me (apparently those eight eyes are quite perceptive.) I would hold out my hand and they would carefully step on it, and eventually they got used to walking up my arm and settling down under my hair while I worked. A few years later one of the regional parks shut a road to protect threatened newts who crossed the road during mating season. The park didn’t say so, but the local tarantulas, the males at least, crossed the road at the same time to find females and mate. The park didn’t make a big deal about the tarantulas, given that so many people were afraid of them. The newts generally got the “eww” reaction, but the spiders were, if anything more “eewy”. No charismatic fauna here. People think I’m crazy to love snakes and tarantulas, and I guess I might be. But I wish everyone could have the experience I had. We all share space on our earth, and many of those species are wild and wonderful. The spiders look like an animal that was produced for a sci-fi movie.

  2. marcoli says

    It’s a good start! better illumination with lots of diffused light will make these lovelies look better. A common trick for light diffusion is to use ping pong balls, cut in half. I know that added light will create a lot of heat, and heat s bad. Not sure how to solve that problem…

  3. unclefrogy says

    as the spider is walking around you can see that he is hanging on to the web he is always spinning behind him he changes which leg is holding on but he does no go very far without holding on to it he is always anchored.
    if you used led lighting there would not be the same heat problem as with incandescent lamps
    i like spiders of all kinds.
    uncle frogy

  4. unclefrogy says

    from what the Wikipedia page said about Baffin Island I would guess that there is a sizable population of flies and other shit eating insects as well as the usual blood suckers so plenty of meals to be had for those who wait patiently in their traps.
    uncle frogy

  5. says

    I’ve got the feeling that PZ saw all our lovely spider posts over at Affinity and now wants to play with the cool kids by posting his own spider pics and vids.

  6. Just an Organic Regular Expression says

    I was intrigued by the patterns of leg motions. That would clearly tie into and so reveal or reflect nerve structure and brain organization. There’s some asymmetry, the two longest front legs are used differently than the other 6, for feeling and manipulating, it looks like. Is that reflected in the nervous system? Ignoring those two, he moves very quickly but still, it looks to me as if of the 6 similar legs, only one moves at a time (or possibly 2, no more). Can’t tell what the gait pattern is but I bet if you put numbers to the legs and wrote down the “firing order” you would find interesting patterns, possibly species-specific, possibly reflected in nerve structures. This could be studied manually by slowing down video (hmmm — what would a spidey treadmill look like…?) or ultimately using a computer to do the looking and counting.

  7. says

    You monster, I was expecting puppies!

    When it comes to spiders, I’m reminded of a quote from a Frenchman, I believe, about how spiders are all wrong because like locomotives, they have all their workings on the outside.

    To be fair, if I see a spider, I’m not all that worried. Seeing spiderwebs doesn’t bother me, either. What’s always kind of freaked me out is walking through a spiderweb I didn’t see because now I know I may have something crawling on me and I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT IS!

    So I really, really hate spiderwebs. The spiders themselves don’t bother me that much.