Spiders Are Evolving And They’re Now More Aggressive, Thanks to Hurricanes

These researchers at McMaster University were always found where the storm was, and you’ll see them collecting data about spiders! Apparently, they found that “extreme weather events such as tropical cyclones may have an evolutionary impact on populations living in storm-prone regions, where aggressive spiders have the best odds of survival.”

"It is tremendously important to understand the environmental impacts of these 'black swan' weather events on evolution and natural selection," says lead author Jonathan Pruitt, an evolutionary biologist and Canada 150 Chair in McMaster's Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour.

The research was tedious and challenging, given that they sampled 240 colonies throughout storm-prone coastal regions. For each species, they studied the inherited personality traits - docile and aggressive - and analyzed their behavior post-tropical cyclone events. The process and some details may be found here!

Image Credit: Joseph T Lapp

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