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Attack of the Robot Spiders!

Illustration for article titled Attack of the Robot Spiders!

British scientists have learned some interesting things about the way animals respond to traumatic experiences and how trauma affects their daily lives. What was the key to their groundbreaking research? Robot spiders that hug bumble bees. Seriously.In the wild, bumble bees can fall prey to crab spiders, which are able to camouflage themselves to match the color of the flowers bees frequent. Researchers at Queen Mary, University of London made mock flowers with sugar water along with fake crab spiders that either matched the flower's color or contrasted it. Two pinching arms padded by sponges grabbed the bees, giving them a good scare before they flew off in a panic. The bees quickly learned to avoid the hugging spiders whether they were camouflaged or not. Things got interesting when the after-effects were studied. The bees were allowed to visit flowers with no spiders at all. Bees who had been attacked by camouflaged robot spiders were slower in their pollen collecting duties, acting nervous and distracted. They had apparently learned that a nearly invisible robot spider could be lurking anywhere, which would likely impact anyone's performance. Further research could provide insight into the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder. Of course, there is one practical thing we can learn from this study right now, with no further research. And that is that NEARLY INVISIBLE ROBOT SPIDERS COULD BE LURKING ANYWHERE! Image by: Science News. Robot Spider vs. Bee. [Science News]


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Corpore Metal

This going to be the new meme that circulates the Web this year?


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