First off, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Karen Moxley, and I am the host of Prof Talk this season, on CiTR, 101.9 FM in Vancouver.
On November 2nd, we aired our first episode of Prof Talk, season two. We started off the season with an interview conducted by Lex Stoymenoff, from UBC’s graduate school of journalism. Lex interviewed Dr. Wayne Maddison from UBC’s Zoology Department about his research on jumping spiders!
Dr. Maddison first took interest in jumping spiders as a teenager, when he rescued a jumping spider who was floating on a grass mat along the shores of Lake Ontario. He kept that spider as a pet for a while, and soon enough, he was studying them as a career. Dr. Maddison has been studying jumping spiders for more than 30 years.
Ever wondered how a spider sees the world? Have you ever looked into the eyes of a jumping spiders eyes? Jumping spiders range in size from a millimeter and a half long up to about 20 millimeters in body length. These aren’t tarantulas, but they’re definitely noticeable!
Thanks to jumping spiders incredible eyesight, they are incredible hunters. They will pounce on prey much like a cat. They don’t have big muscular back legs, but instead derive their muscle power from their tiny bodies, as their blood pressure increases!
Over 30 years of research, Dr. Maddison has only only been bitten twice! Want to learn more about Dr. Maddison’s research on jumping spiders? Check out the podcast at this link;