Spider Dance

Sometimes you gotta risk it for the biscuit!

This is Sandra Tsing-Loh, with the Loh Down on Science.

Decisions, decisions! Paper or plastic? Bagel or breakfast burrito? Every day, we make these life-or-death decisions. Is this a human-only trait?

George Uetz from the University of Cincinnati says, No – spiders have the same problem! Male wolf spiders like to put on a flashy dance to seduce the ladies. But the girls aren’t the only ones watching. Birds see those “Disco Stus” as a tasty treat. So, male spiders learn to freeze if they think they’re being hunted.

The problem?  Sitting still means NO chance of getting a date! The fellas have to balance the risk of becoming lunch with the reward of finding love.

Who wins out? Natural selection suggests the most well-hidden spiders live the longest. BUT the best dancers get the girl – and lots of little spider babies! Risking EVERYTHING for love is crucial to the future of the species. In the spider world, it’s live fast or your genes don’t pass!

But for those with ‘Saturday Night Fever’ – keep your eyes open if you want to be ‘Stayin’ Alive!’