A jumping spider. Credit: Gil Menda and the Hoy labEncountering a jumping spider might give some people a start, but researchers are interested in these agile arthropods, especially their ability to plan and execute complex behaviors. Scientists are studying how jumping spiders coordinate their eight eyes to track fast-moving prey, and how these earless animals can pick up noises from across a room.
Arachnologist Paul Shamble discusses the sensory systems of jumping spiders and how scientists go about measuring the small creatures’ neural activity. And ecologist Eric Olson discusses why these predators might enjoy a vegetarian snack now and again.
(Note: This was about the only NPR programme I have heard in the last few days which did not do an extensive bit almost-overtly supporting Hillary Clinton, or opposing Donald Trump. It really is offensive. They did the same thing to Bernie Sanders. So, I am not going to hide my head in the sand and pretend it is not happening to Trump, when it is. But more on this stuff soon enough, maybes).