Ole blue eyes sure ain’t makin’ whoopee


Image: Cornel Constantin/Shutterstock                                  Guess who this is

Obligingly, The British Arachnological Society (BAS) found it was one leap too far to suggest spiders could be attributed an equal intellect to octopi merely by virtue of eight legs. While we’ve all read that the enormously social octopus can solve complex problems – mebbie in virtue of having a brain in each leg as well has its head – it occurred to us the same might apply to their similarly limbed land-cousin the spider.

Apparently not.

Lockdown, which “hijacked our summer vacation” has given swinging vaguaries space for idle wonderage. Happily and amongst many other more pressing matters this Jumping Spider above, sprang to our attention.

From Noel Kirkpatrick‘s article in the May 2020 issue of Treehugger.  “It’d be easy to think that these tiny creatures have insanely muscular legs given their ability to leap up to 50 times their own body length. This is not the case, however. Instead, jumping spiders rely on segmented legs and blood flow to make their crazy jumps. When they’re ready to jump, the spiders cause an extreme change in hemolymph pressure (the spider equivalent of blood pressure) by contracting the muscles in the upper region of their bodies. This forces the blood to their legs, and this causes the legs to extend rapidly. This quick and sudden extension of their legs is what propels them in the direction they’re aiming.”

That aside, just think about it, though. Processing the information from eight eyes while organizing the mind to move eight legs in addition to producing an inexhaustible supply of what’s proved so far to be the planet’s unknowably-strong protein, simply has to infer an ingenious mental acuity, no? That’s not a web of intrigue, merely natural deduction from explicative reasoning … and real spidery, man.


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