Jumping Spiders Can Think Ahead, Plan Detours
The tiny arachnids possess an abstract working memory—a capability usually seen in larger animals, a new study says.
With brains the size of a sesame seed, jumping spiders may seem like mental lightweights.
But a new study shows that many species plan out intricate detours to reach their prey—smarts usually associated with far bigger creatures.
The arachnids, already well known for their colors and elaborate mating rituals, have sharp vision and an impressive awareness of three-dimensional space. (See "Surprise: Jumping Spiders Can See More Colors Than You Can.")
“Their vision is more on par with vertebrates,” says Damian Elias of the University of California, Berkeley, who wasn’t involved in the new research. “And that allows them to do things that are physically impossible for other animals that size.”
Jumping spiders of the subfamily Spartaeinae (spar-TAY-in-ay) are particularly ambitious—they eat other spiders. Researchers suspect that preying on other predators requires extra