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12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
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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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