By Friedrich G. Barth
Spiders are outstanding creatures. Their different and complicated diversity of habit and hugely constructed sensory structures are excellently tailored to the environmental stipulations - as is confirmed through their evolutionary luck. Over four hundred million years, spiders have constructed their sensory organs to a desirable technical perfection and complexity.
In his exciting e-book, Professor Friedrich G. Barth places this technical perfection into the context of "biology", within which the interplay among surroundings and sensory organs and the selectivity of the senses as a hyperlink among surroundings and behaviour play an important function.
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Additional info for A Spider's World: Senses and Behavior
Arrows point to openings of venom gland duct at the tip of the fangs. Bar 100 11m The Poisons orientalis, Cupiennius salei was roughly in the middle of the range of toxicity measured as LD 50 (Fig. 2). From figure 3 it can be seen that when the test animal is taken away from the spider as soon as it has been bitten, after 24 hours prey weighing less than 40 mg have a mortality ;:: 50% (Boeve 1994). 2 and 150 nl among the 18 spider species tested. Cupiennius salei belongs to the group with poison that most quickly causes immobility.
4° 2546 [>8) Fig. 4. Climate diagrams for the habitats of Cupiennius in Central America, showing average monthly temperatures and rainfall. Dry seasons (dotted area) occur only in some of the locations. The number of years for which measurements were taken is found below the name of the site in square brackets. The two numbers at the upper right represent the average annual temperature (°C) and the average annual rainfall (mm). Vertical shading indicates the wet season, whereas the black areas indicate monthly rainfall exceeding 100 mm.
Remarkable Sensitivities Before we consider the details of hair and hole sensilla, a few impressive numbers will show what these organs can do. It should be kept in mind that sensory systems are closely interlinked with behavior, and with the biotic and abiotic factors in the habitat. Therefore, as is the 38 case with other organs as well, the biologically optimal performance of sense organs is usually a compromise, a response to many selection pressures. The most spectacular achievements are thus not always the best, by which I mean the most economical.
A Spider's World: Senses and Behavior by Friedrich G. Barth