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vanpagels
11-16-2006, 03:24 AM
hey i got a question for those who have much more experience than me, will my t's ever get used to my prescense. Will they always be a bit nervous?

Cmendel
11-16-2006, 03:30 AM
T's don't have memories so I don't think they can get used to your "presence"

If it doesn't look like it wants to be handled, then dont.. If not give it a try. Handeling isn't recommended but a lot of people do it.


Not to be a jerk or anything, I'm new here aswell.. but try and refrain from posting so many topics in so little time, maybe all of your questions in one topic, or edit/bump your older one's. Just a suggestion:rolleyes:

Alice
11-16-2006, 03:44 AM
i'm not too sure about that, ts seem at least to have some basic capability to be conditioned (see pavlov) - for example some seem to 'remember' the location food is dropped in.

concerning handling i've noticed two reactions with mine: some of my brachys and grammostolas, once they settled into their tanks, got 'used' to me walking around in the room and even doing things in their tanks. some grew as 'comfortable' with me that they allow me top pick them up without any kind of threat reaction. others, like the b. boehmei and my a. versicolor girl get more nervous around me the more i handle them (i had to do this more often in the last few months as we were moving, i found mites in the tanks, and then i had to move the tanks again). so the reaction can vary from increasing stress to 'getting used to it'. even though, the most docile t might have a 'bad hair day' ;).

if you absolutely want to handle your ts i'd recommend you only handle those that don't react nervously and that you do not pick up a t that is trying to run. some species certainly seem a lot less skittish and nervous around humans. but there is absolutely no way you will ever make a skittish t comfortable around you. they just don't have the brains for that.

ScorpionFanatic
11-16-2006, 03:50 AM
T's don't have memories so I don't think they can get used to your "presence"

If it doesn't look like it wants to be handled, then dont.. If not give it a try. Handeling isn't recommended but a lot of people do it.


Not to be a jerk or anything, I'm new here aswell.. but try and refrain from posting so many topics in so little time, maybe all of your questions in one topic, or edit/bump your older one's. Just a suggestion

I'm quite sure someone will post a reply to try to prove me wrong and all, but to say a T has no memories seems to be a bit pretentious because of the fact that they have an obvious thought proccess, Eating, webbing, biting, I could go on but I'm sure they have memories of some sort. It knows if it is not hungry so I would have to assume it can remember eating. But untill someone gets inside a tarantula's mind I dought highly one could say they do not have memories. Because nobody I know can read a T's mind I think it is safe to say it's purely speculation at this point to say they don't.

Alice
11-16-2006, 03:55 AM
all of this doesn't require thought processes - you don't need to remember eating to be no longer hungry. i agree that they seem to get used and adapt to certain situations, though. but i doubt that you could call that thought processes.

Cmendel
11-16-2006, 03:57 AM
Well my post was a little vague, I just ment it in a sense that the T can probably not reconigze you as something it feels love to, or kindness etc. Yes it could essentially be used to you opening it's lid, picking it up. So it could know whats coming:?

Windchaser
11-16-2006, 03:58 AM
I'm quite sure someone will post a reply to try to prove me wrong and all, but to say a T has no memories seems to be a bit pretentious because of the fact that they have an obvious thought proccess, Eating, webbing, biting, I could go on but I'm sure they have memories of some sort. It knows if it is not hungry so I would have to assume it can remember eating. But untill someone gets inside a tarantula's mind I dought highly one could say they do not have memories. Because nobody I know can read a T's mind I think it is safe to say it's purely speculation at this point to say they don't.

What you are describing are basic animal instincts. These require neither a conscious thought process nor a memory. I would agree that at some level tarantulas can become accustomed to their surroundings but beyond that they are pretty primitive creatures. I would classify more of a conditioning than a memory.

ScorpionFanatic
11-16-2006, 04:00 AM
I knew it. Typical human responce that we are somehow the only life forms to have a thought proccess, Right. I'm no moron but that is arrogant to believe such a thing.

PhilR
11-16-2006, 05:52 AM
I knew it. Typical human responce that we are somehow the only life forms to have a thought proccess, Right. I'm no moron but that is arrogant to believe such a thing.

I don't agree with you. In humans, basic functions such as breathing, blinking and so on, require no conscious or logical thought, they are handled automatically. In my opinion, for spiders, insects etc., basic instincts such as catching prey, webbing etc.. are also pre-programmed and are instincts rather than conscious thought processes.

Higher (and I hesitate to use the term) animals obviously do have thought processes. For instance, some monkeys use tools, rats can navigate mazes and so on.

Show a Portia fimbriata jumping spider its reflection in a mirror, and it will instantly and automatically assume a threat pose (if it is close enough), i.e. it has no recognition of itself so it assumes that the reflection is another spider. Show an elephant it's own reflection, and it knows that it's looking at itself. As far as I'm aware no spider has self awareness, but the elephant is showing conscious thought by recognising itself.

I do think that spiders have acute senses, and are well aware of your presence (with a potential food item) some time before you even approach their container, so maybe that's how they 'know' where you're going to drop it.

There's certainly a huge amount we don't know about spiders though.

Alice
11-16-2006, 05:53 AM
i'd agree as far as them getting used to something. but if something doesn't have the type of brain required for what we call thought processes, it can't have them but functions on a different level. (some apes for example recognize themselves in a mirror. i wouldn't say they don't have thought processes quite similar to our own)

Kazz
11-16-2006, 01:53 PM
What you are describing are basic animal instincts. These require neither a conscious thought process nor a memory. I would agree that at some level tarantulas can become accustomed to their surroundings but beyond that they are pretty primitive creatures. I would classify more of a conditioning than a memory.

Conditioning requires at least some memory. If you couldn't remember anything then all conditioning would be immediately lost.

As for different behaviors being instinctual, I think that the basics are too, but I disagree with the idea that they are unchangeable. If your slings get better at doing things (hunting, etc.) and it's not attributable just to their increasing size, I think that it requires some kind of memory and thought. Of course it's not the same as ours, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist in them in some form. I don't have slings yet, but my scorplings do seem to modify their behaviors and get better at hunting, hiding, etc.

For a long time people believed that animals were basically like animatronic machines and they had no thoughts or feelings, that they couldn't even feel pain. People even stretched that to include human babies, but I doubt that many of us still believe that today. Unfortunately we've still got work to do to convince everyone that other animals, while significantly different from us, are every bit as alive as us and capable of thoughts and feelings (varying in different animals) that many people have been unwilling to accept so far.

I'm not going to pretend that there are no differences in different animals. It's obvious that our brains and the rest of our bodies are constructed somewhat differently from other mammals and very differently from arthropods. That's even more reason for us to stop pretending that we know and understand everything about them though, because when we think we have completely figured out any animal, including ourselves, we always end up finding out that we weren't right about everything, and if our beliefs caused us to mistreat animals without even questioning whether or not what we were doing was right, then it does make a big difference whether or not we unquestioningly rely on our guesses and assumptions about animals as if they were facts.

ShadowBlade
11-16-2006, 03:41 PM
Tarantulas seem to react based on senses. It feels something, and responds. Feels prey, feels need to eat, and attacks it. Feels dehydrates searches for water. Feels male coming, feels ability to reproduce, and acts accordingly. Which is perhaps why Haplopelma's can sit in their burrows for so long. They don't feel prey, they don't feel threatened, they don't need to expand their burrow... etc. So their bodies don't really move.

By watching how aggressive spiders respond to things is interesting. While many of the aggressive ones respond with a defensive display to intrusions into their space, they do not to the dropping of a cricket. They can feel its weight, and movement patterns, and knows its not a threat, it will then attack and eat it. I don't think its brain goes, 'hey I remember eating something like this!' it just responds.

Perhaps their senses can 'adapt' but not 'remember' if you get what I'm saying. Maybe if a G. rosea feels walking on your hand enough, its senses COULD adapt to the idea its not a threat. Which is why when handling 'aggressive' spiders, they move quickly for awhile, but slow down. Because they feel what they are walking around on is not a threat. But the T does not sit and recall the event of being handled later.

Thats the most credit I will give to spiders. I believe we know enough about their nervous system to know they don't have much of a memory.

Kazz
11-16-2006, 06:22 PM
Thats the most credit I will give to spiders. I believe we know enough about their nervous system to know they don't have much of a memory.

They may not have much of a memory, but when you say that they "'adapt' but not 'remember'", what do you think they're doing to adapt? They may not have the same kinds of memories we do, but how do you adapt without having some kind of memory to store at least something about your previous experiences?

I'm not saying that their memories are like ours, they're very different animals after all, but if they can change their behaviors based on past experiences they they certainly have some kind of memory, and I don't believe that we understand yet exactly what it is or how it works. There's been a *lot* more study on our own memories, and we're only just beginning to understand how they work.

I don't think that they look up at you and say to themselves "Hey, there's Bob! I wonder how his mom's surgery went.", but my guess is that they're probably thinking in their own way something like "That thing is not a threat, I can stay here." or "That thing tried to dig me out of my burrow and kill me! I'm outa' here!"

Just like everyone else though, my ideas about it are just a guess at this point, and it would be very difficult to find out exactly how another animal's brain works. I just don't like the fact that people pretty consistently underestimate other animals, especially ones that aren't similar to us, because unfortunately it often leads to a complete lack of caring and mistreatment or even extermination.

We should always be looking for the truth, and if anything overestimating their abilities until we find it instead of feeling threatened by the idea that "lesser" animals may be more than we're comfortable giving them credit for. The alternative is the kind of willful ignorance that leads people to massacre every snake, spider and scorpion they can find or kill all the elephants they can bring down just to make a quick buck.

Before you get mad, I'm not saying that you'd do those things, but just like those people you're setting a mental line you're not willing to cross that you don't really know to be accurate, you're just setting it a bit higher than most people do. If you really want to know the truth about anything, you have to be open to the possibility that anything you believe may be wrong so that you can objectively evaluate new information when you see it.

Maybe you already know that and you just think that we've got spiders figured out well enough already, but I think that most people who study them would tell you that we still have a lot to learn, as I believe would those who study brains and mental abilities.

ShadowBlade
11-16-2006, 06:39 PM
but I think that most people who study them would tell you that we still have a lot to learn, as I believe would those who study brains and mental abilities.

I've been studying spiders my entire life. I haven't done laboratory work. But I've observed them in the wild a whole lot. I've kept every kind of spider I could possibly find, held it, cared for it, found mates for them, accidentally killed them, and found others.. But as I got older I began really working with them, and same with T's that I now have as pets.

I'm by NO means an expert, nor a scientist. But I've made many observations. And I don't see the capability for much 'memory'. I believe their 'memory' is shown in their senses, and they 'adapt' their senses accordingly, as I said above. This would of course all be controlled by the brain, so yes, it is memory. But I don't think they 'remember' it on purpose. They don't wonder for a second if something hurt them, remember, and ignore it as not a threat.

I don't think they 'recall' the event of eating a cricket, but know it is not a threat, and a possible food source.

Just my thoughts-

Amanda
11-16-2006, 08:14 PM
I hate these debates. All the guy did was ask a simple question.

ShadowBlade
11-16-2006, 08:23 PM
I hate these debates. All the guy did was ask a simple question.

It must be debated to answer the question.

We enjoy doing this, if you don't then don't read it. Or answer the question yourself.

Sorry to sound blunt..

Nerri1029
11-16-2006, 08:56 PM
What proved it to me.. ( proved that arthropods in general have no thought process )
was the picture of a Mantis that had its abdomen recently removed by a female ( or something else I don't remember) munching away on a cricket.

This insect couldn't realize that half of its body was gone and that it should "DO SOMETHING", rather it decided to eat. An instinctual process IMO.

Windchaser
11-17-2006, 02:19 AM
I hate these debates. All the guy did was ask a simple question.

It is through debates and discussions like this that we learn and expand our knowledge. It helps to hear differing opinions on a subject. If nothing else you may be exposed to ideas you hadn't considered before.

ctsoth
11-17-2006, 03:54 AM
I have been a long time lurker, this particular topic has spurred me to register and post.

I am a beekeeper and this topic comes up continuusly in the beekeeping community. A honeybee is a social insect with relationships and activities far more advanced than those of a tarantula, my bees do not remember me. If they did they would chase me away from their hive every time, or go ballistic as soon as I smoked them, or they would wait for me to walk back to my car and take my bee suit off to jump me. To think of an arthropod as having a memory and thought process is rather dreamy. I also think it is generally accepted that most/all honey bee behavior is woven into their genetics. Proof of this is different strains being better or worse at comb building, pollen gathering, propolizing etc. It is not that my carniolan bees learned to swarm more often than my italian bees, it is that it is built into their genetic structure to commit such behavior...

Now, you may call me bigoted, but in general animal rights activists and people who believe in equal consideration between animals and humans don't even consider arthropods and similar "lower level" critters to be "worthy?" of such consideration.

I hope I made some sense, if someone would like clarification on anything I said I would be happy to oblige.

Peace

Chris

Also, I have two Ts, and Avic.Versi. and a Acantho.Brockel.

RottweilExpress
11-17-2006, 05:55 AM
To adapt and evolve requires some form of brainactivity/thoughtprocess and memory. Not that T's has too many advanced behavioral patterns that I'm aware of other than mating, feeding and communicating through sound, movement and hairs(?). I do belive that they have, as all other living beings, a soul and brain activity enough to make decisions based on the current situation, and this should not be confused with instincts.

Regarding getting used to handling and humans, well, if you are an animal with limited intelligence and you relied on your ability to feel vibrations and fluctuations in the air, you would probably have a hard time living amongst a human family 10 000 times bigger and heavier than you.

Windchaser
11-17-2006, 11:06 AM
To adapt and evolve requires some form of brainactivity/thoughtprocess and memory.

This simply is not a true statement. There is absolutely no need for an organism to have any thought processes or memory in order to evolve or adapt (on a species level). Evolving simply put is the survival and propagation of the organisms best suited for their environment. This does not mean the best traits survive but rather that those traits that allow the best chance of survival are passed on to the next generation. The traits that negatively impact the organism within that environment result in those organisms not surviving and reproducing.

Adaption on the species level is basically a part of the evolutionary process. Though when referring to individual organisms or small groups it can also mean a change in behavior to adjust for some external stimuli. This does not necessarily require a thought process either. It can be basic instincts that will modify behavior in response to external stimuli.

NixHexDude
11-17-2006, 11:36 AM
I haven't been in the hobby all that long, but I have noticed some of my T's being conditioned to my presence to some extent. I'm not refering to them getting used to their new home either. My C fasciatum still runs away from me, but it takes a lot more vibration for that to happen now. Likewise, my versicolor is much less nervous around me. I suspect this is due to the location of its tube, which is right at the top of the jar. So I effectively disturb it every time I open the jar, and it seems to have grown accustomed to this.

demicheru
11-17-2006, 11:43 AM
There are numerous organisms that react to their environment without anything even remotely resembling a brain. These organisms are called plants.
Take pretty much any standard house plant. Put it on/near a window sill, but such that it is only partially in the sun. In a few days, you will notice that it has developed a slight lean to it, towards the sun.

Go ahead, turn the pot so that it is now leaning away from the sun. In a few more days, it will have changed the direction of that lean. It responded to the (perceived) change in environment. Now, are you really going to tell me that it had a conscious thought process and decided to change how it grew in order to get more sun?

There is ABSOLUTELY no reason to think that an animal as simple as a tarantula, centipede, scorpion, whatever, is any different. The multitude of stimuli it encounters set up chemical reactions that produce responses. To get a feel for how this works, pick up an intro to psychology book, preferably college level. Somewhere in the beginning they will talk about action potentials, etc. That is what goes on in a tarantula.

They do not spend hours in a burrow engaged in philosophical soul-searching. They simply exist and do not do anything until some sort of stimulus occurs in sufficient magnitude to trigger a response. There is absolutely no reason to think that something as miniscule as a tarantulas "brain" is even remotely capable of anything close to what we could consider thought or memory.

Here is another experiment. Pick your favorite t, the one you think has "learned" the most who you are, that has "learned" not to fear you or bite you. Stick your hand in the cricket bin, roach bin, feeder-of-choice-bin and get your hand good and stinky with bug stink. Then go pick up your tarantula. If it really knew you, and remembered your hand, it wouldn't bite you. Go ahead and tell me what it does.

There are a lot of things we have learned about our own memories, and the cognitive processes of other animals less complex than we are. To have any sort of meaningful discussion on the possibilities of these processes in tarantuals, it would be best to get some sort of background in what is already known about other organisms.

There are different sorts of memory storage mechanisms in the human brain. One of the categorizations is the difference between events and actions. You can know how to ride a bike, but chances are, if you learned as a young child, you cannot drudge up those memories of the first time you got on a bike and figured out how to peddle. And I'm pretty sure none of us remember learning how to walk, but we are all (well, probably most of us) capable of walking. We don't have to bring up any images of walking in our mind in order to do it. Perhaps this sort of memory is an evolutionary precursor to what we normally consider memory (i.e., voices, images, etc) and some animals, possibly including tarantulas, are capable of this level. But, to imagine that a rat who no longer pushes the button that shocks it actually remembers any of the times that it happened is ludicrous.