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Spiders – more sociable and intelligent

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There are 50,000 species of spiders in the world, most of them are asocial, but a small fraction live in colonies sharing food. Spiders have no brains, because their neurons are scattered throughout their bodies. The nervous system of social spiders is more developed than solitary ones. 

 

One of the most social spiders is the Delena Cancerides. It is an Australian hunter who lives in colonies under acacia bark, sharing meals with its neighbors. One study focused on the genetics of 22 social and subsocial species. Social spider species have faster molecular development across the genome than their non-social counterparts. The authors attribute this to inbreeding and distorted sex ratios.

Furthermore, it must be said that many animals, such as some species of spiders, become social because perhaps they hunt together, and therefore out of survival instinct. In practice, more of a tolerance than a cooperation . Spiders are aggressive by nature and it doesn’t take much for them to attack each other. In short, sociability can evolve for many reasons such as shared information about predators or food resources. Spiders, however, are more likely to exploit limited resources such as nesting sites. 

  • Some Spiders Are Evolving Sociability And It’s Making Them Smarter (iflscience.com)
 

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