By Friedrich G. Barth
Spiders are superb creatures. Their diverse and complicated variety of habit and hugely built sensory platforms are excellently tailored to the environmental stipulations - as is confirmed by means of their evolutionary good fortune. Over four hundred million years, spiders have constructed their sensory organs to a desirable technical perfection and complexity.
In his fascinating booklet, Professor Friedrich G. Barth places this technical perfection into the context of "biology", during which the interplay among surroundings and sensory organs and the selectivity of the senses as a hyperlink among setting and behaviour play an immense function.
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Additional resources for A Spider's World: Senses and Behavior
Ex Exocuticle; Me mesocuticle; La course taken by the cuticular lamellae (their number is much higher in the exocuticle than indicated by those shown in the drawing); Ma outer membrane; Mi inner membrane. The dendrite of only one of the two sensory cells reaches Ma, whereas the other ends close to Mi. Both dendrites are subdivided into three sections: ( 1) section close to soma with tubuli and a few mitochondria; (2) mitochondrion-rich swelling; (3) distal section rich in tubuli but lacking mitochondria.
Within a given layer parallel to the surface, as a rule all the fibers are parallel to one another. However, their direction can vary from one layer to the next, and if it shifts in a regular and continuous progression, a new property emerges. Not only does the composite material exhibit isotropy (the same mechanical properties in all directions parallel to the surface), but in addition the lamellar structure becomes visible as an optical artefact (Fig. 8). On the other hand, if the cuticular fibers tend to be aligned in only one or a few directions, the resutling cuticle will be mechanically anisotropic.
2. Entrained activity rhythm of Cupiennius salei (adult females) after reversal of LD cycle (12 :12 light-dark) to DL cycle. Top This actogram shows high activity of the animal when the light is switched on at 06:00 h (initial LD cycle); within 48 h, however, the spider is synchronized with the new DL cycle. Bottom Distribution of hourly activity (± SD) during 21 days. --~~--e=~~~ 0 6 12 18 24 Time [h] walk shortly after the onset of darkness. The experiments also showed that their activity is usually maximal in the first three hours of the dark phase and the activity period usually lasts 6 to 7 hours.
A Spider's World: Senses and Behavior by Friedrich G. Barth