Can Tarantuals be taught?

jeryst

Arachnopeon
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Mar 10, 2010
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I was just wondering. All life forms seem to have the ability to learn. For example, when I put a couple of crickets into my Chacos tank, they usually sit on top of the log that is her hide, because it seems they like that surface better than the substrate. When they start to get hungry, they begin to scour the tank. Normally, she sits just outside her hide, and waits for the crickets to come to her, but if I havent fed her in a couple of days and she starts to get hungry, she will climb to the top of the log, and look for crickets, because she has found them there before. I'm assuming that she has learned that the top of the log is where they hang out, so she goes in search of them. She will do this even if there are no crickets in the tank, so she isnt just sensing them in some way. It seems that she learned that the top of the log is a good hunting spot..

So, from a scientific point of view, can Tarantulas be taught anything?
 

Fran

Arachnoprince
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They are too "simple" of an animal to be able to "learn" the sujested way.

They use instinct and they have some learning capacity, but not enough to be "taught" anything.
 

JC

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They can be conditioned, sensitized and de-sensitized, to certain situations by repeated exposure to certain variables(food, light, touch, etc.).
 

Hobo

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
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I agree with what's been posted so far.

Except my tarantulas. They know how to "stay".
All I have to do is tell 'em "stay!" in a stern voice and they stay in one spot for hours and hours.:p
 

Merfolk

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Sadly, nothing complex can be taught to them, at least the way we think about when training an animal.

Even if they had big brains, they can't hear you and see you properly and no animal can respond to commands it doesn't percieve. As for reinforcement, food is not an item for an animal that can stay weeks without. Application of light electric current or vinegar to the "toes" can be associated with punishment but might be forgotten quick and not necessarely associated with something the animal must avoid doing.

I've come accross accounts of problem resolution and acquired moves (like piling stones to climb on or association a part of the enclosure with food) but it's all from things the animal can touch and taste. It won't sit when you tell it so, to make a short story....
 

zonbonzovi

Creeping beneath you
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Really? My Ts and I discuss Tolstoy & economic theory whilst eating crumpets & taking in a Mahler symphony...no I feel spoiled.
 

Exo

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I beg to differ, while I don't think they can be "taught" per say, I do believe they can "learn".

My B.smithi has learned to bask in a spot in it's cage that gets a little sun each day....it even sets up shop shortly BEFORE the light reaches the spot to wait for it.

Here is a pic of her doing just that....

 

Vespula

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My T's like to listen to listen to Cannibal Corpse and dress in dark colors... *sigh* they're in that rebellious stage... {D
 

Joanie

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I've heard anecdotal stories of t's "learning" the same sorts of things a goldfish can "learn". For example, if you always tap on the side of the t's tank before dropping a cricket right in front of it, it will "learn" that the tap means food. I have some tarantulas who come out of their hides when the cage is opened, possibly because they have learned to associate the feel/sound of the lid opening with food.

This is a really basic type of learning, but hey, it's something.
 

Falk

Arachnodemon
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I beg to differ, while I don't think they can be "taught" per say, I do believe they can "learn".

My B.smithi has learned to bask in a spot in it's cage that gets a little sun each day....it even sets up shop shortly BEFORE the light reaches the spot to wait for it.

Here is a pic of her doing just that....

She probably just feels where the warmth comes from and walks to it, nothing special about that:)
 

Exo

Arachnoprince
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She probably just feels where the warmth comes from and walks to it, nothing special about that:)
The thing is that she will move to that spot at the same time every day before the sun even gets there...and if it's a cloudy day she still does it at first untill she realizes the sun isn't there...then she just goes off somewhere else. This shows that she actually anticipates the sun's arrival.
 

Exo

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AgentD006las

Arach-how about..NO
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I've had her there for two years so far with no heat issues, and as you can see most of the cage is plenty shaded to prevent cooking.
I agree with that. I just dont think its a good idea to give someone new to the hobby. Someone new may put the entire tank in the sun light not knowing the possible danger. I should of taken time to elaborate a bit more. :eek:
 

Exo

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I agree with that. I just dont think its a good idea to give someone new to the hobby. Someone new may put the entire tank in the sun light not knowing the possible danger. I should of taken time to elaborate a bit more. :eek:
The stupidity of some new keepers is none of my concern.....and never ceases to amaze me. The sun is HOT....why can't people figure that out?!?
 

Arachnethegreek

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The stupidity of some new keepers is none of my concern.....and never ceases to amaze me. The sun is HOT....why can't people figure that out?!?
Hey dude chill, no pun intended. Some keepers get into inverts because they used to keep or still do keep reptiles. This can lead to assuming that inverts need a basking spot like lizards and snakes do. It's an understandable misconception, or in the form of true rookies, understandable misinformation. Newbs often don't realize the danger of dessication until they have tarantula jerky in their tank, or they find out that they can't create such a hot spot in the cage. Warm spot sure, hot spot no.
 
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