In order not to be eaten, pretend to be an ant!
In order not to be eaten, pretend to be an ant!
Ant? No, it's actually an ant spider.

try to wave your forelimbs so as not to be eaten.

this is the way for the beautiful ant spider (Myrmarachne formicaria) to survive. It's a jumping spider, but it always pretends to be an ant:

pretending to be an ant can help these jumping spiders avoid predators (such as other spiders). Because ants are indeed more difficult characters: they are quite effective, have chemical weapons such as formic acid, and can call out partners to fight in groups.

these jumping spiders that mimic ants walk on eight legs like other spiders, but they lift their forelegs and wave them from time to time as if they were ants' antennae. Moreover, they will move forward in a z-shaped shape like ants.

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they imitate ants:

compare them with real ants:

(walk differently, but it's really similar when you stop)

recently a team of researchers at Cornell University recorded the posture of these jumping spiders imitating ants and compared them with real ants and jumping spiders that don't imitate ants.

so what is the effect of this imitation? Let the predator score. The researchers found large spiders as predators, and then showed images of jumping spiders, ants and ordinary jumping spiders imitating ants on the mobile phone screen to see if they would jump on to make predation:

(large spiders that pounce on the screen, the researchers use bait to attract them to the screen)

results show that the ant imitation of beautiful ant spiders is really effective. Predators are significantly less likely to attack jumping spiders or ants that mimic ants, and more to ordinary jumping spiders. In the face of real ants and jumping spiders that imitate ants, the response of predators is similar, which shows that this imitation is indeed very successful.

it is mentioned in the paper that the phenomenon of imitating ants may have evolved independently among spiders for dozens of times, so it can be seen that this is really a very useful way to survive.


some other interesting imitations of nature:

Motion Picture appreciation: fallen leaves floating? No, it's a fish!

move the picture to appreciate: transform, mimic octopus!

Strange creature: can you find it in the background?