By Friedrich G. Barth
Spiders are outstanding creatures. Their diverse and complicated variety of habit and hugely constructed sensory platforms are excellently tailored to the environmental stipulations - as is confirmed via their evolutionary good fortune. Over four hundred million years, spiders have constructed their sensory organs to a desirable technical perfection and complexity.
In his exciting booklet, Professor Friedrich G. Barth places this technical perfection into the context of "biology", during which the interplay among atmosphere and sensory organs and the selectivity of the senses as a hyperlink among setting and behaviour play an incredible function.
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Extra info for A Spider's World: Senses and Behavior
A Relationship between the evaporation rate and body mass in different spiders under roughly similar environmental conditions. 2 cmls, 60% RH. b Lethal water loss for different spider species in percent of the initial body mass. In the case of Cupiennius each value from measurements of six animals. Tarentula is now called Alopecosa. (Parry 1954; CloudsleyThompson 1970; Pulz 1987; Mitter 1994) 22 terrestrial arthropod with a large surface-to-volume ratio, this is potentially a serious problem (re spiders see Pulz 1987).
1993). When the strength of the poison is compared among various spider species in terms of the lethal dose for 50% of test animals (LD 50 ), differences of 2 to 3 orders of magnitude are found (Friedel and Nentwig 1989; Nentwig et al. 1992). The same applies to the lower, and presumably more biologically relevant, dose that causes immobilization of the insect (ID 50 ). When the poisons of 18 spider species belonging to 15 families were tested on the cockroach Blatta 5mm Fig. 1. Position and size of the venom glands in the prosoma of an adult female of Cupiennius salei in lateral (top) and dorsal (bottom) view.
This is by no means a new concept, but it is becoming more "fashionable". The idea had already been formulated at the beginning of this century, when in particular Jakob von Uexkiill (1909, 1920) emphatically pointed out both the subjectivity and the predetermined nature of the relations between an organism and its environment. He regarded the things in the environment as carriers of meanings, which play quite specific roles in animals' lives. Accordingly, von Uexkiill ascribed considerable importance to their subjective experience, at a time when animals were considered more as 36 reflex machines and there was not much room in biology for the older ideas of Immanuel Kant about subjective time and subjective space.
A Spider's World: Senses and Behavior by Friedrich G. Barth