By Friedrich G. Barth
Spiders are marvelous creatures. Their various and complicated variety of habit and hugely constructed 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 booklet, Professor Friedrich G. Barth places this technical perfection into the context of "biology", during which the interplay among atmosphere and sensory organs and the selectivity of the senses as a hyperlink among atmosphere and behaviour play an enormous position.
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Additional resources for A Spider's World: Senses and Behavior
2° 2661 000 00 ~ ~ 80 30 60 Q) c. 4° 2546 [>8) Fig. 4. Climate diagrams for the habitats of Cupiennius in Central America, showing average monthly temperatures and rainfall. Dry seasons (dotted area) occur only in some of the locations. The number of years for which measurements were taken is found below the name of the site in square brackets. The two numbers at the upper right represent the average annual temperature (°C) and the average annual rainfall (mm). Vertical shading indicates the wet season, whereas the black areas indicate monthly rainfall exceeding 100 mm.
Barth 1971 a) like lips. lm wide. The dendrite of a bipolar sensory cell ends in a specialized structure of the covering membrane, which we call the coupling cylinder (Figs. 5, 6). lm in diameter. Within the dendrite termi- nal is a so-called tubular body, cons1stmg of densely packed tubules in electron-dense material. This is one of the few modality-specific structures of the cuticular mechanoreceptors of arthropods; that is, it is diagnostic of their function, just as light-sensing organs can be identified by the enlargements of the cell membrane 46 VII The Measurement of Strain in the Exoskeleton Fig.
Apart from several disulfide-rich peptides like the neurotoxic CSTX1 the venom of Cupiennius salei also contains peptides of smaller molecular mass which show antibacterial activity (KuhnNentwig et al 1998). Sensory Systems What is the biological significance of sense organs? This question is central to an understanding of the spider's world, toward which we have striven all these long years. Sense organs are the interfaces between the environment and the central nervous system, and hence between environment and behavior.
A Spider's World: Senses and Behavior by Friedrich G. Barth