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We under-estimate animal intellect

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
This story is about something I observed today, that really amazed me enough to share it.
This story isn't about animal intellect, but insect intellect. Insects are small, with miniscule brains, so after reading this story, imagine how smart animals must really be.........

My office in my home has a window right by my desk. For the last 2 months, there has been an ugly spider outside the window with a large chaotic web that snags leaves and other junk when the wind blows. The spider methodically picks and chooses which debris to keep and which to discard and makes herself a shield of sorts in the middle of her web. She spends the day hiding behind this shield of "stuff".
The web with it's collection of junk is very ugly and I've been meaning to remove it all with a broom but haven't gotten around to it yet.
Today I heard a buzzing right outside the window, so I got up to check.
In the web I find a large black mud-dauber. At first glance he appears to be stuck......so I check to see if the spider is going to come after him.
No way...the spider has left her shield and is now at least 3 feet away clinging to the eve near the roof, no where near her web.
At first I thought, well considering the size of the Mud-dauber, she probably thought it best to stay away from him long enough for him to tire out fighting the web, then get him when he's weak so she doesn't sustain any injuries. As I continued to observe, I found out the real reason she bolted from the web.
The Mud-dauber wasn't stuck at all....he was stalking her. I watched him systematically search her web. He looked everywhere and returned to her shield numerous times looking for her. He investigated every nook and cranny in the eve next to the house looking for her hiding spot, but he never did go out to the edge of the roof where she was in open view, but motionless. I never realized that Mud-daubers could walk on spider webs without getting stuck. But this makes sense, since they hunt spiders and other insects to feed their young in the mud tubes they construct.
After about 15 minutes of this, he left, in search of easier prey. About an hour later she decided it was ok to return to her shield in the web.
I find it amazing on both of the insect's parts, that they are so small, yet so smart at problem solving. I think we still don't have a clue how intelligent the animal world really is.
I'm not a big fan of spiders, but after seeing all that, this one gets to stay under the eve.

If insects are this intelligent, how smart our cats must be!
post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Bengals

If insects are this intelligent, how smart our cats must be!
You'll be surprised!!!

I was shocked to learn there is not much difference in insect brain biochemistry cascades and human brain biochemistry cascades.

God had created all living things to be amazing!!!

Well, maybe not mosquitoes......
post #3 of 14
lol. That is a neat story. I'm glad you didn't get rid of the web with a broom. I normally catch insects that wonder into my house and put them outside.
post #4 of 14
That's awesome!

I saw on the discovery channel where they are woking on training.. I think it's Wasps to do what the k9's do. It was very interesting. I am sure if anyone is interested if they googled it they might find it!
post #5 of 14
Yes, it was wasps, and it was absolutely amazing! I couldn't begin to describe it, but I saw the show.
post #6 of 14
Wow, what a neat story!

My dad has a garage in the back of his house and he used to leave spiderwebs that came up -- and he'd occasionally grab a fly and throw it on the web so we could see how the spiders would grab them. Fascinating.
post #7 of 14
I'm still a fan of Charlotte (Wilbur's friend.)

Spiders are awesome. Except when they are crawling across my bedroom ceiling!
post #8 of 14
this may be a dumb question, but what is a mud-dauber? You're right though, never underestimate the insect mind! I'm always amazed when I watch those nature shows on them how the whole colony works toward a goal
post #9 of 14
I know animals are smart. I think my baby girl is just brilliant! I swear she knows when my hubby has been gone all day, and he comes home say at 10pm, all he wants is her affection, and she runs to the door to greet him, but as soon as he pays her the littlest bit of attention she snubs him! As if to teach him a lesson! And then, after an hour or so of making him BEG, "c'mere pretty girl, come to daddy, c'mere I missed you", she finally allows herself the pleasure of sitting and cuddling with him. It's so funny to watch though, I swear you can read her mind with the expressions on her face....they're priceless.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiemae1277
this may be a dumb question, but what is a mud-dauber? You're right though, never underestimate the insect mind! I'm always amazed when I watch those nature shows on them how the whole colony works toward a goal
Don't feel bad, I didn't know what it was either! But I figured it had to be pretty nasty for a spider to turn away!
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiemae1277
this may be a dumb question, but what is a mud-dauber? You're right though, never underestimate the insect mind! I'm always amazed when I watch those nature shows on them how the whole colony works toward a goal
Not a dumb question at all. A mud-dauber is a black wasp that uses dirt and mud to make long tubes to lay it's eggs in. They spend countless hours constructing these tubes on vertical surfaces...usually on walls of homes.
post #12 of 14
Thanks for explaining that mud dauber thing
post #13 of 14
I didn't know what it was either, I had to look it up. You learn something new everyday!
post #14 of 14
I only knew what a mud-dauber was cuz we have them here too! They actually have a bit of blue on their butt area!
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