Why 8 Eyes Are Better Than 2 (…If You’re a Spider 🕷)

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Why do spiders have 8 eyes? It’s a seemingly simple question with a surprisingly complex answer. We’ll be hanging out with some jumping spiders (the cutest of all spiders) and some jumping spider researchers to investigate how a thumbnail-sized creature with a poppy seed-sized brain ended up evolving some of the most advanced eyes in the animal kingdom, overcoming a few limitations of physics in the process. We’ll watch as scientists study these spiders in a special eye tracking machine and learn how having 8 eyes instead of two gives these elite predators almost 360˚ vision and almost hawk-level depth perception and resolution.

Big thanks to:
Dr. Beth Jakob and Alex Winsor – UMass Amherst
Dr. Nathan Morehouse and lab – University of Cincinnati

Additional footage credits:
Spider retinal movements – Daniel Zurek
Spider courtship videos – Daniel Zurek, Sebastian Echeverri, and Nathan Morehouse (Morehouse Lab, University of Cincinnati)

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