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Tue Aug 20, 2019, 06:47 PM

Spiders are getting more aggressive thanks to hurricanes and other extreme weather

By Brittany Vincent
6:30 pm

...According to researchers at McMaster University in a new study published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, recent studies of spider behaviors have identified an evolutionary impact on certain populations of arachnids living in regions more prone to storms and other dangerous weather situations. In these areas, high winds can knock down trees, blow errant debris into spider nests, and create a volatile environment for spiders to attempt to survive in. As a result, some end up becoming more prone to aggressive behaviors in an attempt to better gather resources and keeping themselves and their colonies safe.

It is tremendously important to understand the environmental impacts of these 'black swan' weather events on evolution and natural selection," said journal lead author Jonathan Pruitt, an evolutionary biologist. He worked alongside a team that examined a variety of female spider colonies of the Anelosimus studiosus species, which can be found along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts. Coincidentally, those are areas typically affected by hurricanes and other devastating weather events. They worked to figure out the trajectory the storms may move in, and sampled nearly 300 different colonies from the area to compare them to control sites elsewhere.

The findings for this species, which typically features both docile and aggressive spiders, suggested that following a tropical cyclone or storm, the colonies with more aggressive foraging responses would have more young spiders survive into winter. This is due to the fact that aggressive spiders are better at collecting resources and are also prone to potentially cannibalizing male spiders and their eggs in an effort to survive. These findings were magnified in colonies along the areas in the path of the storms.
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Reply Spiders are getting more aggressive thanks to hurricanes and other extreme weather (Original post)
bronxiteforever Aug 2019 OP
defacto7 Aug 2019 #1

Response to bronxiteforever (Original post)

Tue Aug 20, 2019, 07:30 PM

1. Male spiders have eggs? I'll have to read up on this!

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