It is no secret that I am a giant weirdo who is a huge fan of spiders. So while spending the last several weeks locked in my house desperate for things to read about that had nothing to do with the coronavirus, I stumbled upon a bizarre discovery: the existence of a tiny Australian spider called the maratus, known more commonly as the peacock spider.
There are several different species of peacock spider, but they are all tiny (their entire body length while full grown is usually less than 0.2 inches). But if you happen to have a magnifying glass handy you will see something incredible: they are extremely colorful jumping spiders, and the males dance. Literally, they dance in order to attract a mate.
Here are some examples, helpfully set to music by the internet:
Peacock Spider "Stayin' Alive" www.youtube.com
Unfortunately, I regret to inform you that the peacock spider, while adorable, is still a spider. Thus, if the female spider is displeased with the male spider's attempts to impress her with a dance, she will kill him. Which seems reasonable.
Peacock Spider 7 (Maratus speciosus) www.youtube.com
And if you would enjoy a video with some narration of what is probably going on in the male and female spiders' heads while this mating/killing dance is going on, I offer you this gem from Zefrank, with a mild language warning.
True Facts: Mating Dance of The Peacock Spider (feat. Quinta Brunson) www.youtube.com
Of course, some people think they might not be dancing at all, but rather have something else in mind:
You cannot convince me the spider in that photo is not at a sporting event rooting for his favorite spider team. https://t.co/nTIrvVmmYH— Caleb Howe (@Caleb Howe)1587189028.0