Kind of a good question that came to mind...

DrGigglez666

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I dont know if this has already been asked and if so smack me haha for asking it. Do any of yall think in the near future male tarantulas will live as long as females or the same or basically are we stuck with them living no longer than like 3-5 years or less??
 

Goomba

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Why would they start living longer? There's no evolutionary/genetic pressure on them in the wild to live longer.
 

DrGigglez666

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Why would they start living longer? There's no evolutionary/genetic pressure on them in the wild to live longer.

And i know that im just saying maybe in the future something could happen heck i dont know anythings possible!!
 

Goomba

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Possible, yes. Probable, no. It would be nice though.
 

Alice

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very unlikely, why should they? the system has worked fine for millions of years, so there is no reason why natural selection should all of a sudden change to long-lived males.
plus, how would they survive a postultimate molt with intact sexual organs? after all, they are useless if unable to reproduce from nature's point of view.

oh, and yes, evolutionary processes take many thousands or hundred thousands of years... so no, you won't see male lifespan incrase in your lifetime ;)
 

sick4x4

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im with the above there isnt any evidence to support a need to last longer...if it ant broken why fix it.........
 

taka

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It's a question of evolution, and the fact of the matter is that as long as females have a tendancy to make a snack out of males, there is no pressure for longer living males, so while it's not selected against, it's not selected for either. Now, if the only tarantulas were those kept in captivity, and every tarantula breeder made it a point to not let his male get crunched and bred them as long as possible, then eventualy it might come to pass that longer lived males would have more spiderlings, but you wouldn't see anything noticable for a few thousand years at absolute least.
 

Drachenjager

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I dont know if this has already been asked and if so smack me haha for asking it. Do any of yall think in the near future male tarantulas will live as long as females or the same or basically are we stuck with them living no longer than like 3-5 years or less??
NO.
lol
hows that for a long answer lol
ok heres why i say no.

take a group of Ts. males mature faster and die off after the first mating season(usually) Females form that same sac will haven no chance to mate with those males. next time mating season rolls arond its an entirely differant batch of males. so after a few years when the females from the sac mentiones are mature and ready to mate , they will mate wiht this years maturing males. These males are a few generations(males) from the newly matured females and so can only be half siblings by then. It keeps down the risk of inbreeding. IF a male say lived for 5 years after maturing its possible and probable they would mate wiht at the very least sac mates and possible thier mother . This MAY be detrimental to thier genetics. We dont know for certian about inbreeding in inverts. I am sure it happens to some extent. but with sac mates prevented from mating , you get some extra genes into the gene pool. IF the Ts were perfect with no bad genes and no recessives taht could come back to bite you. inbreeding in any species would not be an issue. But thats highly unlikely/
I would expect if any lifespans in Ts changed in the future it would be shorter lifespans for both. Alledgly the Myglamorphs are the older spiders. They have not changed much cause they dont need to. but IF there ever was pressure to make them change to adapt i wold think they would change like the Araneae have ...note that most if not all of these the females live for one mating season. tey may lay more than one sac during that time tho. and the males live long enough to mate then die. So i would expect that they would be more likely to adapt to having males mature faster adn females maturing faster and dying sooner and lay more than one sac per year. All that energy causing the female to demise in the first breeding season.

BUT then again ...
 

Cheshire

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NO.
lol
hows that for a long answer lol
ok heres why i say no.

take a group of Ts. males mature faster and die off after the first mating season(usually) Females form that same sac will haven no chance to mate with those males. next time mating season rolls arond its an entirely differant batch of males. so after a few years when the females from the sac mentiones are mature and ready to mate , they will mate wiht this years maturing males. These males are a few generations(males) from the newly matured females and so can only be half siblings by then. It keeps down the risk of inbreeding. IF a male say lived for 5 years after maturing its possible and probable they would mate wiht at the very least sac mates and possible thier mother . This MAY be detrimental to thier genetics. We dont know for certian about inbreeding in inverts. I am sure it happens to some extent. but with sac mates prevented from mating , you get some extra genes into the gene pool. IF the Ts were perfect with no bad genes and no recessives taht could come back to bite you. inbreeding in any species would not be an issue. But thats highly unlikely/
I would expect if any lifespans in Ts changed in the future it would be shorter lifespans for both. Alledgly the Myglamorphs are the older spiders. They have not changed much cause they dont need to. but IF there ever was pressure to make them change to adapt i wold think they would change like the Araneae have ...note that most if not all of these the females live for one mating season. tey may lay more than one sac during that time tho. and the males live long enough to mate then die. So i would expect that they would be more likely to adapt to having males mature faster adn females maturing faster and dying sooner and lay more than one sac per year. All that energy causing the female to demise in the first breeding season.

BUT then again ...
I don't really know if there's any genetic reason for tarantulas living longer. I mean, in 99% of the animal kingdom there's no difference between the male and female population lifespans. I can definitely see how a quicker cycling of males would be beneficial, but I don't think that's the whole reason.

Here's my theory:

As we all know, in the wild female tarantulas spend most if not of their time in some form of a burrow hiding. Whether it's a hole in a tree or a hole in the ground, they're hardly ever visible and therefore vulnerable to a narrower range of predators than a spider who spends most of it's life exposed.

Males, on the other hand do spend most of their lives like female female spiders except for their final moult. After their final moult, they leave their burrows and look for a mate.

During this time, they're vulnerable. They're far more likely to be eaten by predators or infected with parasites. Most of them wouldn't live to the following summer, anyways.

Evolutionary speaking, usually anything that goes unused begins to shrink and atrophy for various reasons and I think this is what has happened with the lifespans of mature male tarantulas.

Predation is also why we see these plagues of male tarantulas at certian times of the year. There's saftey in numbers and if males all mature at the same time, there's less of a chance of one particular male being killed by a predator. Many other animals have taken the mass exodus approach to avoid predation:

[YOUTUBE]5o2J2fI59so[/YOUTUBE]

Now, please realize that this next part is just theory or conjecture.

Every once and awhile, we will see a male who lives five or more years longer than it's supposed to (most males live a year after their maturing moult). I have a theory the livespan of these males is atavistic.

If we were to selectively breed only the males which lived five or six years after their maturing moult, then we could theoretically increase the lifespan of captive males.

Atavisms are a powerful evolutionary force. Some plants and animals have even regained the ability to sexually reproduce from these evolutionary leftovers.

Remember most (if not all) males go sterile after a few months so you'd still have to mate them while they're young, which means at the time you'd be mating them these atavistic males would be indistinguishable from normal males.

Even if we were able to tell these males from normal males the number of spiderlings would drop dramatically, probably to the point where tarantulas wouldn't be sold.

It's theoretically possible to increase the lifespan of males through artificial selection, but it would be so difficult, incredibly wasteful (99.99% of spiderlings would be destroyed if we were to only let spiderlings from atavistic males live to reproduce) and so very unlikely it may as well be impossible.
 

Cheshire

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Great theory. Now am I the only person that doesn't know what atavism is?
The first time I used that word in my paragraph, I hyperlinked the word to the dictionary.com definition.

An atavism is an evolutionary throw-back, a collection of genes which have been turned off for many, many generations which have now been turned back on in that organism...possibly due to mutation.

One example of atavisms are human tails.

To give you an example of how rare atavisms are, there have only been 23 cases of 'true human tails' from 1884 to 1988.

More case reports
 

zimbu

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Cheshire, I don't disagree with your theory for the most part, but the statement that evolutionarily speaking, things that go unused begin to shrink and atrophy is generally correct, but there has to be a selection pressure of some sort to favour this happening.

I can't think of a selection pressure that would favour shorter lived males, but I'm thinking maybe we shouldn't look at males as short lived, but females as long lived. Perhaps ancestrally they had equally short lifespans, but selection pressures favoured longer lived female because that way they can continue to hide and wait for a male for many, many years.

Obviously this is just a theory too, but it makes more sense to me from an evolutionary standpoint.
 

Cheshire

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Cheshire, I don't disagree with your theory for the most part, but the statement that evolutionarily speaking, things that go unused begin to shrink and atrophy is generally correct, but there has to be a selection pressure of some sort to favour this happening.

I can't think of a selection pressure that would favour shorter lived males, but I'm thinking maybe we shouldn't look at males as short lived, but females as long lived. Perhaps ancestrally they had equally short lifespans, but selection pressures favoured longer lived female because that way they can continue to hide and wait for a male for many, many years.

Obviously this is just a theory too, but it makes more sense to me from an evolutionary standpoint.
I'd have to research the lifespans of some of the more primitive spiders (Mesothelae) to be certian.

There is a good selection pressure for males with shorter lifespans. In Africa, they have nearly eliminated the tsetse fly by sterlilzing males with cobolt 60 and then releasing them onto the wild population where they mate with females.

Granted, female spiders don't die after they lay eggs like the tsetse fly. Since males become sterile after a few months (don't know why), if male tarantulas lived for a long time the sterile male population would quickly overcome the virile male population and increase the likliehood the female would mate with a sterile male and decrease the numbers of offspring female tarantulas would produce annualy.

This is just a theory...I'd need to know why males become sterile (physiologically speaking) before I could really tout it over anything else.

Araneomorphs have shorter lifespans and if I remember correctly, mygalamorphs and araneomorphs split from their ancestor at the same time. The mesothelae are thought to be their ancestor and I've been told that the lifespan of liphistius (which has characteristics of both araneomorphs and mygalamorphs) is about 5 years for females and with males, it's unknown.

Your theory could very well be correct. It makes sense. There is definitely an advantage for longer lived females, but not males.

I haven't started to research spider evolution yet because I don't have access to the materials I need here on the internet.

<Shrugs> No real answer.
 
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zimbu

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Yeah, I really wish I had my invert textbooks here at work at least... and I don't have any books on arachnids specifically that would be up to the task or researching something this specific.

If you do find anything though, would you mind posting your findings? This topic has me really interested now...

Also, titles of any books you happen to know offhand that would be worth a read for anybody whose very interested in arachnids and wants to do some serious research would be appreciated :D

I need to find a cladogram or something... that or get back to opening mail like I'm supposed to be...
 

phil jones

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let me think dum de dum de dum de dum ( thats me thinking ) and i say nophil
 

sparular

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It would be interesting to know what causes the males to die. Cellular senescence and associated organ failure is the normal way that things die of "old age", but perhaps males just lose the desire to eat and drink once they have mature male hormones at high enough levels. If it is the latter cause of death, I imagine finding a male that doesn't lose his will to eat and drink could happen and a really interested breeder could maintain this line and selectively breed. As has been said, this is a lot of work and probably not worth the trouble. With the great diversity of genetics that occurs spontaneously with large populations of animals it would seem improbable that longer lived male tarantulas don't exist somewhere. It is a question of being able to find one and having the desire and patience to selectively breed its progeny.

Spar
 

cacoseraph

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pretty sure it is possible. you can manipulate just about any characteristic via selective breeding.

and if you could do it to a few species there would be a DEFINITE market for it... pampho's, P. cancerides, some of the A's and B's.... mmmmm nice.
 

xBurntBytheSunx

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i think if you buy into evolution any possible charactaristic is plausible.

do species evolve slowly over eons or do they mutate rapidly? i think there are proponents for both and arguements against both theories.

why does the duck-billed platypus have a bill? this doesn't make sense. why is sudden infant death syndrome inheritable? this doesn't help our species survive.

according to the theory i don't think there is any reason for male spiders to live longer but i also don't think there is anything standing in their way. it wouldn't make sense if they did live longer but then again i don't think evolution has to have any logic to it.
 
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