Sunday, May 22, 2011

Difference Between Humans and Animals, Part XXIII

Dirty dancing edition:
Before I break your heart with a magnificent demonstration of naked, forlorn, magnificent passion, I should tell you a thing or two about the male jumping spider.

These spiders dance when they woo. Here's a quick, silent introduction showing their basic moves: We start with a flourish of side-to-side quicksteps, then two front legs are fully (and repeatedly) extended like a referee signaling "touchdown!"...
Here's the video evidence (background music added):

Like a human dance club, this dance has high stakes:
This, apparently, is what spider ladies like. The more the male spider shakes, vibrates and extends, the more the female will consent to copulate. I don't know if that "leg snap" thing is the move that gets them over the top, but males who have been "muted" (waxed so they can't dance) frequently get eaten by their intendeds. So if you're a male jumping spider, it's best to dance your heart out.
Here's a more detailed description of the entire research and experiment and here's an article from The Guardian teaching you how to improve your own lady-getting dance moves.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You are the reason why I do not write privately. I would love to hear your thoughts, whether you agree or not.