When a peacock spider dances, how do we know that it’s a really, really good dancer? From their colorful, iridescent body displays, to their wide variety of dance moves, to the different rhythms that they “sing” while courting, can we decode the unique complexity of their communications?
To answer that question, Science Friday visited UC Berkeley grad student Madeline Girard and the dozens of peacock spiders that she’s collected from Australia. Girard is cataloging and translating the mating rituals of each peacock spider species, and it’s a big project: there are 43 different species with different kinds of dances and decision-making standards.
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