Have You Ever Wondered Where The Brains of Tiny Spiders are Located?
Have you ever wondered why extremely small spiders can weave webs that are just as intricate as the webs much larger spiders are known to weave? Obviously a tiny insect must have a tiny brain, so figuring out how it is that small arachnids can create complex webs has been a matter of scientific query for quite some time. However, it looks as though science has finally arrived at an answer.
Who says that a brain has to be centrally located somewhere within an organism’s anatomy? Obviously humans are used to thinking that an organism’s brain, if the organism is advanced enough to possess one, must be one single structure. But actually a group of researchers working for the Smithsonian have found that a spider’s central nervous system can take up to eighty percent of their body mass–with their brains spilling out into their legs!
The idea that an organism’s brain could be spread out into its legs is pretty far out, but this is the normal case for some spiders, especially when these spiders are very young and have much developing to do. A few of the spiders studied had brains that bulged into their legs at the expense of the proper development of other organs, as though the brain was the most important feature of the spider. This is likely due to the fact that spiders must rely on much cunning and complex web spinning to survive, and this takes a lot of brainpower.
To further illustrate the mind-boggling anatomy of some spiders, researchers focused on the Phidippus Clarus, better known as the Jumping Spider. Researchers found that the Jumping Spider’s digestive system is located largely in its head and body cavity. I bet spiders do not like communicating face to face.
Why is it that spiders did not instead develop slightly larger bodies to accommodate their brains? One would think that evolution would not allow other organs to be compromised by the development of the brain. Scientists are still trying to figure out how every other organ in a spider’s body develops given this clear evolutionary preference for brain development.
Why do you think spiders evolved like this? What would be the benefit of not having their brain located solely in their head?