The Amazing Secret Visual Worlds of 8-Eyed Jumping Spiders
A Sentience Article from

FROM Marc Bekoff, Psychology Today / Animal Emotions
December 2021

A "spider-centric" view of the world opens our eyes to their remarkable senses.

8-eyed spider
Source: Pixabay/Pexels


  • Jumping spiders have eight eyes that can operate both independently and together, serving a number of functions.
  • They can see a wider range of colors than humans do, giving them advantages in avoiding danger and mating.
  • Spiders' amazing vision reminds us about how much we still have to learn about animals and the world around us.

Recently, Simone, an avid student of spider behavior, told me about Betsy Matson's fascinating essay "Jumping spiders' remarkable senses capture a world beyond our perception," and after I read it, I thought about other people who have asked me to write more about spiders and the ways in which they sense and make sense of their hidden worlds, which often include our homes. I also thought about the small-brained spider I had gently removed from under my pillow that morning and wondered what he or she was seeing and feeling as I placed them outside, a short trip for me but perhaps a huge journey for them. Research shows that small brains can do amazing things.

Matson's piece is an outstanding summary of the fascinating visual capacities of jumping spiders, and it made me think more about how narrow our anthropocentric—human-centered—views of the world are when we consider the amazing diversity of other animals who also have to negotiate their own worlds.

There are many secret worlds out there, and while we know a lot about some of them, there still is much to learn.


Please read the ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE (PDF).

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