Wild Things: Life as We Know It
Caterpillars, Bonobos, European Songbirds and More...
- By T. A. Frail, Jesse Rhodes, Jessica Righthand, Brandon Springer and Sarah Zielinski
- Smithsonian magazine, November 2010
Madagascar: Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, Mantadia Reserve (Matjaz Kunter)
A species of bark spider recently discovered in Madagascar spins the largest webs ever recorded—up to 82 feet wide—over streams, rivers and lakes. Named Caerostris darwini after Charles Darwin, the spider has evolved exceptionally tough silk for “bridgelines,” which anchor its giant, orb-shaped webs to vegetation on land and keep the webs suspended above water. The spider itself is only a few inches long and eats insects such as bees and mayflies.
“Web gigantism in Darwin’s bark spider, a new species from Madagascar (Araneidae: Caerostris),” Matjaž Kunter and Ingi Agnarsson, The Journal of Arachnology, 2010
“Mothers matter! Maternal support, dominance status and mating success in male bonobos (Pan paniscus),” Martin Surbeck et al., Proceedings of the Royal Society B, September 1, 2010
“Are fish less responsive to a flow stimulus when swimming?” Karla E. Feitl et al., The Journal of Experimental Biology, August 27, 2010
“Artificial Night Lighting Affects Dawn Song, Extra-Pair Siring Success, and Lay Date in Songbirds,” Bart Kempenaers et al., Current Biology, September 16, 2010
“Parachuting behavior and predation by ants in the nettle caterpillar, Scopelodes contracta,” Kazuo Yamazaki, Journal of Insect Science, April 27, 2010