Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Whip Spiders Picking Up Bad Vibrations

Fearsome looking whip spiders Phrynus marginemaculatus have massive pincers tipped with spikes and their front legs have evolved into long 'whips' which they use to feel for their prey. In confrontations between themselves however the whips are employed differently. The two rivals circle & probe each other with their whips more & more intensely until they are vibrating the whips without touching. One combatant usually retreats at this stage as the vibrations are picked up by sensitive hairs along their legs. When scientists shaved the hairs, the threat displays went on for twice as long and were three or four times more likely to end in fights. The big question is: how do you go about shaving a spider's legs?

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We can shave spiders legs??

Apparently so! I wonder if there is a training course on arachnid depilation I can apply for?

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