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Jumping Spiders Have Ability to Think Ahead and Plan Detours to Catch Prey

Filed under: Pest Control — Tags: , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 2:29 am June 22, 2017

Jumping Spiders Have Ability to Think Ahead and Plan Detours to Catch Prey

24183849 - zebra jumping spider - salticus scenicus

Spiders are pretty small, which means their brains are also pretty small. The brain of the jumping spider is about the size of a sesame seed. This makes me think they can’t have too much brainpower at their disposal. However, when it comes to the jumping spider size apparently doesn’t matter, because they are capable of thinking in ways we associate with much larger and more intelligent animals. A recent study found that jumping spiders can actually plan ahead and even plan out intricate detours to help them catch their prey. They also have sharp vision and a remarkable awareness of three-dimensional space.

The vision of the jumping spider is actually more comparable to the vision of vertebrate animals. This enhanced vision helps them do things other animals their size would find physically impossible. In the recent study researchers set up elaborate obstacle courses for the jumping spider to navigate in order to get to their food. One such obstacle course consisted of a tower set on a platform that is surrounded by moats. The spider is placed on the top of the tower where it can see two distant boxes, one of them containing a yummy meal and the other filled with only dead leaves. Once the spider began the course, however, and slowly climbed down the tower, the researchers emptied the boxes so the spider couldn’t continue to get visual cues as to where the meal is located.

The researchers found that the jumping spiders had no difficulty finding their way through the obstacle course to the meal, despite having no way to see the location of the meal after starting the course. This demonstrates that the jumping spiders must have an abstract sense of where the food is, as well as a plan to help them navigate the walkways and paths of the course. That’s quite an astounding mind for such a tiny animal.

Have you ever seen a spider walk or move around in a way that you didn’t think they could with their brain size? What amazing feat did they accomplish to make you curious about them?