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U of T alumnus Cédric Aria at the main Marble Canyon quarry site in Canada’s Kootenay National Park during the summer of 2014 (photo by Jean-Bernard Caron)
Researchers discover tiny, 500-million-year-old predecessor to scorpions and spiders

September 13, 2019

Paleontologists working on the world-renowned Burgess Shale have revealed a new species named Mollisonia plenovenatrix, which they describe as the…
Extreme evolution

August 28, 2019

Researchers at McMaster University who rush in after storms to study the behaviour of spiders have found that…
Japanese scientists embrace creepy-crawlies

July 18, 2019

Firms in Japan are changing people’s perceptions about common spiders, worms and insect larvae. These seemingly unwanted creatures…
Why you shouldn’t kill your friendly neighbourhood spiders

July 15, 2019

When that itsy-bitsy spider climbs up the spout, resist the urge to stomp it out—even if it makes…
Study confirms horseshoe crabs are really relatives of spiders, scorpions

March 15, 2019

Blue-blooded and armored with 10 spindly legs, horseshoe crabs have perhaps always seemed a bit out of place.…
With venom more powerful than a rattle snake's, black widow spiders are the most venomous in North America. Researchers Nathan Gianneschi (left) and Greg Holland (right) followed strict safety standards while studying the spiders, which produce uniquely strong webs. Photo credit: SDSU
Mystery of black widow spiders’ steel-strength silk webs could lead to equally strong synthetic materials

October 23, 2018

Researchers at Northwestern University and San Diego State University (SDSU) have better unraveled the complex process of how…
Insects and spiders out to find shelter for winter

October 16, 2018

This time of year, insects and spiders are out and about – some in large numbers – looking…
“Citizen Science” field observations yield updated predicted distributions for rare species

August 19, 2018

Online “citizen science” data initiatives may be able to help map the distribution of rare species in the…
Spiders go ballooning on electric fields

July 11, 2018

Scientists have attributed the flying behaviour of these wingless arthropods to ‘ballooning’, where spiders can be carried thousands…
Scorpions Outdo Spiders as Scary Creatures

June 18, 2018

“I hate spiders.” “How do you work with them?” “I’d rather scoop maggots off a corpse than deal…
Spiders and scorpions have co-opted leg genes to build their heads

April 6, 2018

Arthropods are among the most successful animals on the planet. They inhabit the sea (horseshoe crabs), the sky…
How brightly colored spiders evolved on Hawaii again and again … and again

March 11, 2018

About 2 to 3 million years ago, a group of spiders from parts unknown let out long silk…
Biologists peek into the past to see the future through tiny spider eyes

January 24, 2018

With the increasing accessibility of DNA sequencing, University of Cincinnati biologists are unraveling many evolutionary mysteries behind the…
Social Susceptibility of a Spider

January 3, 2018

This is the story of a spider, small but bold. This particular arachnid, in fact, has helped to…
Nature’s Smallest Rainbows, Produced by Peacock Spiders, May Inspire New Optical Technologies

December 27, 2017

Brightly colored Australian peacock spiders (Maratus spp.) captivate even the most arachnophobic viewers with their flamboyant courtship displays featuring…
Itsy bitsy spider: Fear of spiders and snakes is deeply embedded in us

October 26, 2017

Snakes and spiders evoke fear and disgust in many people. Even in developed countries lots of people are…
Jumping spiders mimic ants to defy predators

July 13, 2017

Humans aren’t the only actors on the planet. To avoid being eaten, the ant-mimicking jumping spider pretends to…
Survival instincts and not family ties bond spiders together

March 11, 2017

Spiders usually live alone – they are not so much group animals. However, in some rare cases they…
No, That’s Not a Brown Recluse Spider Bite

February 17, 2017

Many skin conditions are misdiagnosed by doctors as brown recluse spider bites. This can lead to tragedy because…
Tiny dancers

February 1, 2017

While most arachnophiles will likely find tiny spider dancers who can “swagger like Jagger” entertaining, it’s more than…
Virus carrying DNA of black widow spider toxin discovered

October 20, 2016

A tiny virus that may sting like a black widow spider. That is one of the surprise discoveries…
Ultimate sacrifice: Spider’s post-sex cannibalism aids offspring

October 7, 2016

The male dark fishing spider is just dying to father some children – and this death wish probably…
Loner Spiders Prevail as Pioneers

October 7, 2016

A spider looking to immigrate to a different environment is three to four times more likely to survive…
Temperature helps drive the emergence of different personalities in spiders

August 3, 2016

Like people, animals have personalities. And their personalities differ, sometimes hugely, on traits like shyness and aggressiveness. Among…
Spiders put the bite on irritable bowel syndrome pain

June 8, 2016

Spiders have helped researchers from Australia and the US discover a new target for irritable bowel syndrome pain.…
What big eyes you have! Spider adaptation widened dietary net

May 20, 2016

Evolving the largest eyes among all known arachnids may have helped the net-casting spider add walking prey to…
Scientists create novel ‘liquid wire’ material inspired by spiders’ capture silk

May 18, 2016

Pulling on a sticky thread in a garden spider’s orb web and letting it snap back reveals that…
Scientists Find That Trap-Jaw Spiders Strike Prey With Lightning Speed

April 14, 2016

On first glance, Mecysmaucheniidae spiders, which live exclusively in New Zealand and southern regions of South America, do…
Black Widows: Obvious to Predators, Stealthy to Prey

March 1, 2016

Secret codes and hidden messages aren’t just for computer security experts or kids passing notes in class —…
Female sex cannibals not angry, just picky: spider study finds

December 16, 2015

The female raft spider – often accused of indiscriminate aggression for cannibalising her potential suitors – is actually…
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