By Friedrich G. Barth
Spiders are very good creatures. Their different and intricate variety of habit and hugely built sensory platforms are excellently tailored to the environmental stipulations - as is confirmed through their evolutionary good fortune. Over four hundred million years, spiders have built their sensory organs to a desirable technical perfection and complexity.
In his fascinating publication, Professor Friedrich G. Barth places this technical perfection into the context of "biology", during which the interplay among setting and sensory organs and the selectivity of the senses as a hyperlink among surroundings and behaviour play a huge position.
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Additional resources for A Spider's World: Senses and Behavior
As far as the hole sensilla are concerned (see Chapter VII), much the same applies, although in this case it is very difficult to obtain the reliable measurements needed for energy calculations, which are not yet as well established as we would wish. For a composite hole sensillum of a bird spider (the lyriform organ) the force threshold for detection of slow deflection of the metatarsus is 8 to 10 mN, which puts the organ under a strain of 60 llE (this corresponds to compression of the cuticle by 60 millionths of its initial length).
For instance, there are neurotoxic spider poisons that block voltage-dependent presynaptic calcium channels and in this way prevent the release of transmitter at neuromuscular 33 synapses (Bowers et al. 1987; Branton et al. 1987). Other poisons also act presynaptically but oppositely, causing the transmitter at neuromuscular synapses of insects to be released in massive quantities (Cull-Candy et al. 1973). Still others act postsynaptically on glutamate-receptor channels (Usherwood et al. 1984; Adams et al.
2. Effects of different amounts of the poison of Cupiennius salei on the locomotor activity of the cockroach Blatta orienta/is after experimental injection through the coxal joint membrane. 0 Locomotor activity during the first 5 min following poison injection; JD 50, immobilization dose, e mortality within 3 days after poison injection; LD 50 lethal dose. (Friedel and Nentwig 1989) ~ ~0 :2 .... 9 ~ f!... f!... 1 10 100 1000 Poison [nl/350mg] 0 V No Spider Without Poison 32 ••• 100 >~ 0.. ct1 Q) (and subsequent separation from the spider) as a function of body mass.
A Spider's World: Senses and Behavior by Friedrich G. Barth