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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Video: The Smooth Moves of the Male Orb-Web Spider
28 January 2013 1:20 pm
A good first impression can save your life—that is, if you're a male orb-web spider. When a male Argiope keyserlingi finds a female, he carefully cuts out a small section of her web, builds a mating thread over the hole, and begins a complex courtship ritual. With his first courting technique, the shudder, he tries to entice the much-larger female onto his thread by quickly rocking back and forth. If successful, he follows up with abdominal wags and the "mating thread dance," consisting of web plucks and bounces. While his performance on these last techniques ultimately determines whether the cannibalistic female decides to mate with him, his execution of the initial shudder influences whether she decides to have a postsex snack, researchers report this month in PLOS ONE. Apparently, females prefer—and are less likely to eat—males that shudder long and slow.
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