One of the researchers behind the discovery of the flashy peacock spiders Sparklemuffin and Skeletorus has found some other interesting spiders. Jürgen Otto observed these Australian spiders — named Jotus remus — in an odd sort of ritual in which the male would hide and wave a paddle-like extension near a female. When the female attempted to approach the paddle, the male would scurry away. This game of peek-a-boo would go on for hours. Based on his observations, Otto has surmised that the paddle ritual is intended to determine if a female spider is a virgin or not. Female Jotus remus that have already mated would become immediately docile upon seeing the paddle and make themselves ready for mating.
Charlie, the African penguin, turns 30!