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Is tiny Portia the smartest spider in the world?

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Known for their hunting expertise, Portia fimbriata, a.k.a. fringed jumping spiders, are often called the smartest spiders in the world. Portia spiders must be smart and strategic because they eat other species of spiders, some three times their size. They even develop specific strategies for hunting different species.

"Mission Impossible? Not for Portia."
Found in Africa, Asia, and Australia, this minuscule predator exhibits advanced cognitive abilities in research projects and the wild. From The Atlantic in 2021:

“‘It’s not so much the size of the brain that matters, but what the animal can do with what it’s got,’ says arachnologist Fiona Cross of the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand… Although these tiny arachnids have brains that could literally fit on the head of a pin, the work of Cross and other scientists suggests that they have capabilities we’d have no problem hailing as signs of intelligence if exhibited by animals with much larger brains, like dogs or human toddlers.”

Portia's excellent eyesight
Experiments suggest that Portia can play mind games, make plans, count, assess risk, and be surprised.

These “superpower” skills, in addition to her keen eyesight and mighty jumpsβ€””up to 50 times her own body length”β€”are demonstrated in this BBC clip from episode three of The Hunt, narrated by none other than Sir David Attenborough.

Portia makes plans
Does Portia look more like an ewok or the Lorax?

The Atlantic shares more about this spider’s behavior.

Plus, watch these spider videos next:
β€’Β The Peacock Spiders of Australia
β€’Β This blue masked peacock spider is tiny and adorable
β€’Β How do spiders use electricity to fly?
β€’Β The turret spider’s camouflaged towers
β€’Β The six-spotted fishing spider hunts and eats fish
β€’Β Spiders Tune Their Webs Like A Guitar

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