More Aliens Not Aliens

Spiders look alien to me. Did you know most have 8 eyes? I didn’t.

Photo of a wolf spider. It has eight eyes, four in the center of the photo, two large eyes above that, and two eyes above that, on the back of the head. Photo Credit: Thomas Shahan, Wikmedia Commons

From How Many Eyes Does a Spider Have?

  • There are two main types of spiders, hunting spiders and web weaving spiders. Depending on how they feed, their bodies and their eyes are different shapes and sizes.
  • In general, web building spiders tend to have poor eyesight and rely very much on touch, vibration, and chemical cues to find their prey.
  • Hunting spiders are the spiders that don’t build webs, instead they either build traps in the ground or run around leaping on other insects and eating them. This is why you see spiders on the kitchen floor at night when you turn on the light and they scuttle off. You interrupted their “bug hunting.”
  • Spiders usually have eight or fewer eyes (some have six or less).
  • A few spiders can also detect polarized light, like bees and some birds, and they can use this ability to find prey. Some, like jumping spiders, can also see ultraviolet light.
  • Hunting spiders that have very good eyesight, during the day, include wolf spiders, jumping spiders, bolas spiders, and net-casting spiders.

Wikipedia: Spider

Some jumping spiders’ visual acuity exceeds by a factor of ten that of dragonflies, which have by far the best vision among insects; in fact the human eye is only about five times sharper than a jumping spider’s. They achieve this by a telephoto-like series of lenses, a four-layer retina and the ability to swivel their eyes and integrate images from different stages in the scan.

Maybe aliens have multiple pairs of eyes like spiders. Maybe they can see ultraviolet light.  Maybe they have a decentralized brain like an octopus. Maybe they can fly, or leap tall buildings in a single bound (they might be able to if they came from a planet with stronger gravity). Maybe they have such impressive ability to camouflage, like a cuttlefish, that they’re already here hiding in plain sight. I’m trying to think out of the box here.

2 thoughts on “More Aliens Not Aliens

  1. Marj

    I’ve evolved to believe that spiders are fascinating creatures, but as a younger person was terrified of them. Now I go to great lengths to catch and release them whenever possible. Last summer though upon opening the lid to my propane tank there was a black widow spider basking in a web . I gently closed the lid and wished it well–just please stay out of my house!

    Reply
    1. Bix Post author

      I would have done the same thing! Re: the black widow. These days when I see them in the basement I think of them as natural pest control.

      Reply

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