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Old 12-14-2011, 12:41 PM   #1
suunto
The Bug Whisperer
 
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Monroe County, WV, USA
Default Some Spiders Think on Their Feet! (So to speak)

From the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute - Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

"The brains of tiny spiders are so large that they fill their body cavities and overflow into their legs, STRI researchers report. As part of ongoing research to understand how miniaturization affects brain size and behavior, researchers measured the central nervous systems of nine species of spiders, from rainforest giants to spiders smaller than the head of a pin. As the spiders get smaller, their brains get proportionally bigger, filling up more and more of their body cavities.

“The smaller the animal, the more it has to invest in its brain, which means even very tiny spiders are able to weave a web and perform other fairly complex behaviors,” said William Wcislo, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. “We discovered that the central nervous systems of the smallest spiders fill up almost 80 percent of their total body cavity, including about 25 percent of their legs.”"
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