Thre’s a few cool things going on in the animal world. The first is a new study about spiders that shows some of them decorate their webs with life-sized replicas of themselves!
“I don’t know of any animal that actively builds a decoy of itself. Our study seems to be the first to empirically demonstrate the function of animal-made decoys,” says Tso.
The decoys worked, too. More often than not, a wasp would attack a decoy rather than the spider, thinking it to be a tasty meal.
But all wasp strikes on spiders living on undecorated webs were directed straight at the spider.
“Decorations built by Cyclosa spiders function as a conspicuous anti-predator device instead of a camouflaging device. The benefit of successful escape from predator attack seems to outweigh the cost of increased detection,” says Tso.
This next is actually old news, but it’s the first I’d heard of it. Rats laugh. That’s right…rats can actually express delight through laughter!