Scientists have found that male black widows move their bodies in a certain way to let females know of their presence—and avoid becoming their next meal.
Female black widow spiders are not the friendliest mates, even according to spider standards: They will pretty much eat anything moving on their web, prey or spider. Males do this by jerking the female’s web, transmitting friendly vibrations that give the female a simple message: “Please don’t eat me!
So by making movements on the web that are unlike those of a fly or cricket, the male has figured out a lifesaving communication strategy. In the lab, researchers recorded vibrations made by black widow males, hobo spider males, and common prey species. The vibrations of the male black widows were played back to female black widows, vibrations of the male hobo spiders were played back to female hobos, and both species’ females were exposed to vibrations from prey. For hobo spiders, no twerk was detected and their vibes did not differ much from those of prey. However, “the vibrations produced by courting black widow males were very different from those produced by prey,” explained Vibert. “They were long-lasting and of very low amplitude, just like a constant humming,” she said.
The vibrations of the male black widows and prey species were then played back to female black widows, and the team observed the females’ reactions.
Quiet vibrations, like those produced by the male’s subtle twerks, did not trigger a predatory response, but when researchers turned up the volume of the vibrations made by the black widow males, the female black widows attacked, Vibert said.
All I can picture now are these little male spiders singing and dancing to Good Vibrations by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch! We’re Moving!As of October 22, 2014, Weird & Wild will be hosted on National Geographic's main news site.
This is likely due to the fact that, unlike black widow males, which are much smaller than their females, male hobo spiders are about the same size as females and usually don’t get the cannibal treatment. Wallpaper images in the Black Widow club tagged: natasha romanoff black widow marvel iron man 2 scarlett jonansson.
The rules to pass the test - which is a sort of litmus test for female presence in movies and TV - are simple: The film must have at least two women.
In fact, I can't recall one moment in the film where any two women talk to each other. Maybe some of the female agents were speaking to each other in the background, but without knowing those characters or hearing their conversations, we can't count those instances as passable.
Whedon's women (which sounds like a cos-play softball team or an elderly book club) are always well-rounded, often complex, empathetic, and -- most importantly -- independent. Instead of using that weakness to pad a potential love story or force some maudlin theatrics into the plot, Black Widow takes her weakness and uses it as a tool of manipulation and strength. She is a confident woman who is aware of her past and the implications of her former wrong doings, and no one else is going to make her feel badly about what she's done. She's just as quick and nimble as Black Widow, reinforcing the idea that the women in this film kind of have the leg up (pun intended) on men because they are more lithe.
Whedon approaches the action of his women with careful consideration, and the end result pays off impressively. Scarlett Johansson is a divisive actress, but she deftly handles both the rough and tumble action and the clever dialogue handed to her. A female hero isn't put there just to pander to women, nor is it only acceptable for girls to look up to her.
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