Sunday, March 15, 2009


Here are some unfortunate considerations:

Scientists who study spider intelligence increasingly are discovering that certain arachnids show signs of intelligence.

Take, for example, jumping spiders. Jumping spiders, of course, need to have a little more mental processing than your average layabout web weaver. A jumping spider has to catch its prey actively, which requires 3D spatial imaging, as well as the ability to judge distances and determine outcomes.

Studies have shown that these little buggers also have a decent memmory and can be goal-oriented. They also, like bees, have a means of communicating with one another. Ever seen a spider flip its little front legs around in seemingly random swirls? It's trying to talk to you.

Does this make me want to squish them more or less? I can tolerate spiders at a safe distance. That distance increases with the increase of size. I'm fine being mano a mano with a goliath bird eating tarantula. But it better be at least five feet away. Six would be better.

If it's behind glass then there's no problem. I can walk right up to it. Because it can't get on me.

There's something to contemplate next time you have to take the life of a fly and mosquito catcher.

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