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July 25, 2011 | by  | in Opinion |
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Animal Of The Week – The Portia Spider

Imagine you’re a spider, just chillin’ in your web, when hotdamn! A delicious victim becomes ensnared in your sticky trap. As you tip-toe your way closer, things begin to go terribly awry; your meal suddenly scurries off and, before you know it, another spider is stabbing its fangs right into your ass. If spiders could understand complex English concepts, you’d probably understand the irony here. But what does that matter now—you’re dead. Don’t be too hard on yourself, though. Your killer, and this week’s AOTW, is basically the ninja of the arachnid world—the Portia Spider.

Portia Spiders show greater intelligence than could be thought possible for such a small animal. They use deception and mimicry to hunt their favourite food: other spiders. The Portia plucks individual strands of another spider’s web, impersonating the vibrations of an injured insect. When their victim is lured closer, the Portia launches its attack. Sometimes they will manoeuvre behind their victim; sometimes they prefer to attack head-on, using their extreme jumping ability. The Portia can even drop down on top of its victim. Eat your heart out, Splinter Cell.

Not only do Portia Spiders like to push the boundaries when it comes to hunting, they’re also very innovative in the bedroom. These spiders mate entirely in midair, suspended by a single thread. And then the female eats the male. The Portia Spider really takes “challenge accepted” to the next level. *

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