Saturday, June 12, 2010

Spider study: Women are dirty fighters, men have dance-offs.

From Discovery, thanks to Coozer-Phile Jeff!
Pairs of female jumping spiders were matched off in a mini, gladiator-like arena, while researchers recorded fight tactics in an effort to find a pattern.

What did they find? The females fight dirty.

While the males "push each other back and forth like sumo wrestlers," lead author Damian Elias of the University of California at Berkeley said in a press release, the females displayed less civil tactics.

The research is published online in the journal Behavioral Ecology.

"Males have a more gentlemanly form of combat, whereas in females it's an all-out fight," said Elias. "At the drop of a hat they start bashing and biting each other."

Another difference was that the female fights were often duels to the death, whereas males tended to resolve things through elaborate dance displays rather than fighting.

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