13 Jul 2017

Can Spiders Really Count?

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 1:29 pm on 13 July 2017
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Photo: Fiona Cross / University of Canterbury

This is a jumping spider called Portia, and she can count.

Portia africana, the salticid (jumping) spider has a brain that could fit on a pinhead, and apparently counts its prey.

Dr Fiona Cross and Emeritus Professor Robert Jackson, are both from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Canterbury and conducted a series of experiments with the jumping spiders.

And they've published a paper on the critter that was the cover for a new Royal Society special issue of Interface Focus. Fiona spends six months a year in Kenya but she's back at home in New Zealand.

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