Evolution Intelligent Design

Researchers: Spiders are smarter than we think about determining whether you are alive

Spread the love

Especially those jumping spiders:

Tiny little jumping spiders, with their magnificent eyes, seem to be able to do something we’d only ever seen before in vertebrates: distinguishing between animate and inanimate objects.

In a new test, wild jumping spiders (Menemerus semilimbatus) behaved differently when presented with simulated objects of both kinds, in ways that indicated an ability to discern between them.

The research doesn’t just suggest that this ability can be found more widely in the animal kingdom than we knew, it demonstrates that the team’s experimental setup can be used to test other invertebrates in the same way.

“These results clearly demonstrate the ability of jumping spiders to discriminate between biological motion cues,” the researchers wrote in their paper.

Michelle Starr, “Jumping Spiders Seem to Have a Cognitive Ability Only Previously Found in Vertebrates” at ScienceAlert (July 16, 2021)

The paper is open access.

Of course, it makes sense. If a spider could not distinguish between a fly and a dust bunny, it probably would not survive.

See also: In what ways are spiders intelligent? The ability to perform simple cognitive functions does not appear to depend on the vertebrate brain as such.

Leave a Reply