Wild Things: Wildcats, Pigeons and More...
Cleaner wrasse fish, black widow spiders and even bananas made the news recently as part of the latest wildlife research
- By T.A. Frail, Laura Helmuth, Julie Mianecki, Jesse Rhodes and Erin Wayman
- Smithsonian magazine, September 2011
Black widow spider with cricket prey. ()
Yes, female black widow spiders often kill and eat males after copulating. But Arizona State University researchers now say some males avoid becoming meals by selecting mates that are well-fed. The key? Sated black widow females apparently emit a chemical signal and even weave a web differently from ravenous ones.
“Saving threatened species in Afghanistan: snow leopards in the Wakhan Corridor,” Anthony Simms et al., International Journal of Environmental Studies, June 30, 2011
“Flying in a flock comes at a cost in pigeons,” James R. Usherwood et al., Nature, June 22, 2011
“Male black widows court well-fed females more than starved females: silken cues indicate sexual cannibalism risk,” J. Chadwick Johnson et al., Animal Behaviour, August 2011
“Cleaner Wrasses Labroides dimidiatus Are More Cooperative in the Presence of an Audience,” Ana Pinto et al., Current Biology, June 23, 2011
“Multidisciplinary perspectives on banana (Musa spp.) domestication,” Xavier Perrier et al., PNAS, July 12, 2011