The term captivity

Brachyfan

Arachnobaron
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Thank god! Don't know why I would relate to a fossorial tarantula??? I will apologize for the tone of my posts. Not here for flame wars or being told I don't understand basic animal behavior. Or veiled insults.

But my point is dead on. Captivity = confinement = removal of freedom= imprisonment. Changing the meaning of words to suit a purpose was the entire point I was trying to make.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feral

The thread title is "The term Captivity" which implies etymology not genetic and behavioral science.
 
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Feral

Arachnobaron
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Thank god! Don't know why I would relate to a fossorial tarantula??? I will apologize for the tone of my posts. Not here for flame wars or being told I don't understand basic animal behavior. Or veiled insults.

But my point is dead on. Captivity = confinement = removal of freedom= imprisonment. Changing the meaning of words to suit a purpose was the entire point I was trying to make.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feral
Oh, I think I see- Do you mean that you thought I was implying that you personally are like a tarantula? (Not that I would consider that an insult, tarantulas are awesome!) No, I didn't mean that at all. My intention was to use an example of a wild animal that I knew you had a lot of experience with, a tarantula, as opposed to using a wild animal like an elephant or whatever in my example, which I assumed you did not have a lot of firsthand experience with and therefore could not relate to them/their behaviour as easily. I promise you that there were no insults, veiled or otherwise, in any of my posts.

I see the link you posted. Yes, I suppose that definition is the older and casual use of the word "feral". I could call my crazy pet shrimp "feral" or my crazy hair "feral", and everyone would know I meant it as a synonym for "wild". But that's just not how it is used in science-based applications today, like with those who deal with feral animals professionally for example, and its common definition in that online dictionary is at best confused and outdated, if not outright wrong. IMO, it should have given two definitions for the word, the common usage non-animal definition and the animal-related scientific definition. The Wikipedia page gives a decent overview of how the term "feral" is correctly applied. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feral Especially as we've done more and more genetic mapping on animal populations, we've shown the genetic differences between domesticated, feral, and wild animals and maintaining the distinction of terms have become even more important.

If you would like me to explain why I said that your post showed a lack of understanding about dog and cat behavior, I will... if it's polite and civil conversation. I don't mind to share any knowledge, experiences, or thoughts I may have... within a respectful dialog. Though, it is off topic and inapplicable because we're talking about wild animals in captivity in this discussion, so there's that.

But yes, to reiterate, I have never meant to insult you or anyone else here. I apologize for any unintended offense. If you reread my posts, I'll think you'll find there was no ill will at all.
 

AphonopelmaTX

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Thank you for an interesting and insightful post! Being a person who doesn't have any native tarantulas locally, I don't really have opportunity to observe them in the wild. So I have a question about the section quoted above, specifically about plugging up hides as a sign of discontentment. (She says, eyeballing all the burrows around her plugged up for winter torpor.) I also see it before molting. So I'd like to hear more about your thoughts hide plugging*.

*Get your mind out of the gutter, everybody! :rofl:
Thanks for the compliment. :) Burrow plugging is just a way a tarantula hides its location so it can better protect itself. For instance, in America when the temperature starts to drop all of the tarantulas are triggered to call it a year by sealing up the entrance to their burrows so they can go into torpor without being disturbed or damaged by freezing air. The same happens during the hottest part of summer when rainfall eases up, the ground becomes dry, and prey is less available. Burrow plugging doesn't have just one trigger but ultimately it is done when a tarantula is at its most vulnerable. Egg sack construction and molting are also triggers. I will say it is absolutely amazing to see how well camouflaged the burrows become when plugged. Every year I am amazed to see large numbers of juvenile and adult female Aphonopelma hentzi in the suburban parks one week, then practically the next week most are gone like they were never there. Yet another week or two later, all the burrows are back some with discarded egg sacks or molts near by. The plug is made from the soil at the bottom of the burrow and pushed up to the surface from the bottom. The plugs are not the same as a trap door as there is no silk hinge and no obvious collar. There really is no way to detect a plugged tarantula burrow.

In captivity, the same instinct is there although not always seen because in a climate controlled environment with a constant supply of food and water, there isn't always a need for a tarantula to protect itself. If your tarantulas exhibits a predictable pattern of plugging up their hides, then consider yourself good at tarantula husbandry because that is what would happen in nature. Because there are so many reasons for a tarantula to plug up their hide, it is impossible to give an accurate response to explain it. Could be that a tarantula is about to molt, could be that the enclosure has been too dry for too long, could be that the temperature is too hot or cold, and so on. The point is hide plugging is a normal part of tarantula behavior and not always a sign something is wrong. Sometimes tarantulas just need a rest and will shut the door of their house so to speak. But because everything a tarantula does is super slow, that rest could take weeks or even months. Knowing your tarantulas and recognizing a pattern will help to provide clues as to why they plug their hides. For example, I always know when to water my Theraphosa enclosures because they sit in the hides and won't come out again until their substrate is nice and damp.
 

Feral

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Thanks for the compliment. :) Burrow plugging is just a way a tarantula hides its location so it can better protect itself. For instance, in America when the temperature starts to drop all of the tarantulas are triggered to call it a year by sealing up the entrance to their burrows so they can go into torpor without being disturbed or damaged by freezing air. The same happens during the hottest part of summer when rainfall eases up, the ground becomes dry, and prey is less available. Burrow plugging doesn't have just one trigger but ultimately it is done when a tarantula is at its most vulnerable. Egg sack construction and molting are also triggers. I will say it is absolutely amazing to see how well camouflaged the burrows become when plugged. Every year I am amazed to see large numbers of juvenile and adult female Aphonopelma hentzi in the suburban parks one week, then practically the next week most are gone like they were never there. Yet another week or two later, all the burrows are back some with discarded egg sacks or molts near by. The plug is made from the soil at the bottom of the burrow and pushed up to the surface from the bottom. The plugs are not the same as a trap door as there is no silk hinge and no obvious collar. There really is no way to detect a plugged tarantula burrow.

In captivity, the same instinct is there although not always seen because in a climate controlled environment with a constant supply of food and water, there isn't always a need for a tarantula to protect itself. If your tarantulas exhibits a predictable pattern of plugging up their hides, then consider yourself good at tarantula husbandry because that is what would happen in nature. Because there are so many reasons for a tarantula to plug up their hide, it is impossible to give an accurate response to explain it. Could be that a tarantula is about to molt, could be that the enclosure has been too dry for too long, could be that the temperature is too hot or cold, and so on. The point is hide plugging is a normal part of tarantula behavior and not always a sign something is wrong. Sometimes tarantulas just need a rest and will shut the door of their house so to speak. But because everything a tarantula does is super slow, that rest could take weeks or even months. Knowing your tarantulas and recognizing a pattern will help to provide clues as to why they plug their hides. For example, I always know when to water my Theraphosa enclosures because they sit in the hides and won't come out again until their substrate is nice and damp.
Excellent, good to know. When you said that plugging could be a sign of discontent, I was alarmed and thought maybe mine could be in distress I wasn't even aware of. I always thought mine were exhibiting normal behaviors, and I had never heard otherwise... but I don't know what I don't know, you know? I keep only G. pulchra (I'm obsessed) and they plug very predictably- before molts, and for winter torpor every year from late December to about mid-April. But with your explanation, my mind is put back at ease, thanks.
 
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Brachyfan

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@AphonopelmaTX

Thanks for explaining my B klaasi behavior. It went into a fast during premolt which lasted several months. It didn't move for a month and just sat in it's pill jar with it's abdomen sticking out of its vertical burrow. I thought it died so
I rehoused it into a bigger enclosure and it molted that night. Then had a drink and plugged its burrow. This was mid november and I haven't seen it since.

So that is a good sign I guess?
 

FrDoc

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I dont understand what your post has anything to do with what i have written so far. I think you misunderstood what i ment and what my intention with my post was from the get go. I get little annoyed that yiu are this defenssive. My post was ment to be a scientific speculation. But nothing constructive gets out of this argumentationfrom my side or from your side, so i hope this thread gets closed
Unfortunately my good man, it seems that the more visceral members have completely lost sight of the original context of your post, the application of a term. However, your primary question is the catalyst for thinking, not only about specific definitions of words, but also connotation.
 

FrDoc

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I've already stated that they can, in fact, make choices. If you're going to disagree with established science, where is your evidence? But even aside from your lack of proof, you're saying that an animal who has been proven to be capable of a number of different types of learning... including Complex Maze learning, as stated above... can't even make a simple choice and has no awareness of its actions? That is entirely illogical.

But if you need proof that I don't just randomly make stuff up, here:
http://britishspiders.org.uk/bulletin/120401.pdf
I mentioned in my previous post that arachnids are capable of Complex Maze learning, among other types.
The study linked above (from eighteen years ago!) involved Aphonopelma hentzi that established tarantulas' ability in three different types of learning- Spatial, Reversal, and Complex Maze learning. (Associative, Habituative, and Aversive learning types were established in arachnids in separate studies. And those are just the types of learning in arachnids that I remember reading studies on recently, they may have been proven to be capable of more that I either missed or have forgotten.)
Just to be clear, Complex Maze type of learning illustrates, by design, an animal's ability to make choices.
"Do I go left or right? Which one will take me to my goal?"
You can't learn how to navigate mazes successfully without being able to make choices and have an awareness of your actions, it's absolutely essential to success.

So yes, it's been scientifically proven and we've known for years that tarantulas can make choices and have awareness of their actions.[/QUOTE

“Established science”? I went through a medical issue several years ago and had three doctors (scientists) give me three different courses of action that conflicted with one another’s perception of “established science”. They all laid out there facts, findings, and proofs via experimentation, but because of their particular areas of expertise, they did not agree one with another. Science is established until some new information becomes available that changes the establishment. Additionally, as I’m sure you are quite aware scientists often come to radically different conclusions on matters, e.g., the current climate debate. So, citing a study or an experiment is not at all particularly convincing. Interesting? Yeks. Compelling? Maybe. Absolutely convincing? Hardly ever.

I will say, I do truly appreciate your thoughtful posts in this and other threads. However, just like I disagreed with two out of three doctors during the above referenced medical scenario, I have no problem disagreeing with you in this matter. Your presentation, at least in verbiage, places way too much emphasis on what you perceive to be the cognitive abilities of these animals. You can be as convinced as you desire, and that’s fine, but you have neither written or cited anything that convinces me that these creatures do anything more than react to sensory stimuli, a characteristic of the most simple life forms.

You have the last word.

P.S. Apologies for the form, it’s getting late.
 

Brachyfan

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Unfortunately my good man, it seems that the more visceral members have completely lost sight of the original context of your post, the application of a term. However, your primary question is the catalyst for thinking, not only about specific definitions of words, but also connotation.
I apologize for my role in that. Not sure how this thread got derailed as I was attempting to have a discussion on etymology.
 

Vanisher

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Unfortunately my good man, it seems that the more visceral members have completely lost sight of the original context of your post, the application of a term. However, your primary question is the catalyst for thinking, not only about specific definitions of words, but also connotation.
Yes, i did not make this thread and this comparison between bears, tigers in cages and captive tarantulas to make me "sleep better at night" I made this thread in pure scientific speculations. IF a tarantula in terrarium, captiveborn or wildcaught felt depressed and bad with actually being trapped within 4 walls! I have told my thoughts on it and what i believed and WHY i believe they are not. But have no idea what goes on in a tarantulas little gaglion! Not even a highly skilled Arachnologist that i know does. There are only theories

Lets say there are proof that they feel depression and feel very bad about being inside a enclosure even if the conditions are rigt i think i would not keep any tarantulas, BUT that is not what i believe. Tarantulas are instinktive animals and my firm believe is that if the set-up and conditions are right, they dont get stressed. But as said. I dont really know.

What i do think, is not to deal with wild caught tarantulas, this is more important, because this i can do something about. I really dislike the idea, taking tarantulas from the wild and keep in enclosures at home.
I very seldom get new tarantulas anymore but the ones i buy, i always buy slings ir from people i know have breed the tarantulas
 

Brachyfan

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Yes, i did not make this thread and this comparison between bears, tigers in cages and captive tarantulas to make me "sleep better at night" I made this thread in pure scientific speculations. IF a tarantula in terrarium, captiveborn or wildcaught felt depressed and bad with actually being trapped within 4 walls! I have told my thoughts on it and what i believed and WHY i believe they are not. But have no idea what goes on in a tarantulas little gaglion! Not even a highly skilled Arachnologist that i know does. There are only theories

Lets say there are proof that they feel depression and feel very bad about being inside a enclosure even if the conditions are rigt i think i would not keep any tarantulas, BUT that is not what i believe. Tarantulas are instinktive animals and my firm believe is that if the set-up and conditions are right, they dont get stressed. But as said. I dont really know.

What i do think, is not to deal with wild caught tarantulas, this is more important, because this i can do something about. I really dislike the idea, taking tarantulas from the wild and keep in enclosures at home.
I very seldom get new tarantulas anymore but the ones i buy, i always buy slings ir from people i know have breed the tarantulas
I agree on the wild caught thing! Out of 20+ tarantulas that I have only one is WC. I still think it is awesome though. 5" G pulchripes. I got it at a time when no one had them for sale in Canada breeder wise. Would not buy wild caught anymore though.

I doubt that captive bred tarantulas would suffer any effects from the captivity / human interaction. Humans have fed and watered them their entire lives.
 

Feral

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“Established science”? I went through a medical issue several years ago and had three doctors (scientists) give me three different courses of action that conflicted with one another’s perception of “established science”. They all laid out there facts, findings, and proofs via experimentation, but because of their particular areas of expertise, they did not agree one with another. Science is established until some new information becomes available that changes the establishment. Additionally, as I’m sure you are quite aware scientists often come to radically different conclusions on matters, e.g., the current climate debate. So, citing a study or an experiment is not at all particularly convincing. Interesting? Yeks. Compelling? Maybe. Absolutely convincing? Hardly ever.

I will say, I do truly appreciate your thoughtful posts in this and other threads. However, just like I disagreed with two out of three doctors during the above referenced medical scenario, I have no problem disagreeing with you in this matter. Your presentation, at least in verbiage, places way too much emphasis on what you perceive to be the cognitive abilities of these animals. You can be as convinced as you desire, and that’s fine, but you have neither written or cited anything that convinces me that these creatures do anything more than react to sensory stimuli, a characteristic of the most simple life forms.

You have the last word.

P.S. Apologies for the form, it’s getting late.
Thank you the compliment, you're a peach. I have a deep appreciation and gratitude for politely shared thoughts and knowledge, good discussions, and the people who take part. Thank you for being a part of that! Here's to equanimous (and hopefully even friendly) dialogue!
---

Yes, I understand that all scientific findings, in all disciplines, are ever-evolving. I understand that's what science is. Accepting that, all we can do (until better information does or does not comes along) is go on what we have now.

I'm not sure how, after reading the study on Complex Maze learning in A. hentzi that I posted, you don't see for yourself that tarantulas are more than only a stimulus=response, purely relexive/instinctual animal. But if you want more evidence to consider, here are my thoughts...

(Below I link some review articles, etc. I love their index of studies they reference, because if I were to question the conclusions of the paper for some reason, I could investigate the source material myself, and draw my own conclusions.)

I could maybe see your point with 'three different doctors with three contradicting opinions' analogy if there were similarly various conflicting opinions within the scientific community regarding the previously stated arachnids' various learning abilities and cognition. But there really isn't at this point. By "established", I mean that the scientific community as a whole has accepted these things. It's not really debated now, I haven't found anything current that still sticks to the rigid sensory-response model for inverts. It's been shown repeatedly that they are not simplistic, robotic stimulus=reaction/input=output virtual automatons that just carry out what their instincts and reflexes have programmed them to do. Coincidentally, just the other day this 2018 review article on Drosophila was shared by boina in another thread on AB:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6127854/
Among other things, it discusses how the strict sensory-response model isn't applicable in inverts and innate behaviours/instincts can sometimes be modified through learning and cognition.
Or like 2017 review article on Extended Spider Cognition:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5394149/#!po=13.6905
Which sums it up pretty well by saying:
"Nowadays, spiders are far removed from their old depiction as hardwired, instinct-driven animals with few learning capabilities. As this brief section will show, spiders behave as if planning routes in advance, show a sense of numerosity, learn conditional tactics of aggressive mimicry, reverse previous learned associations, and adjust their behaviour to altered conditions in a variety of ways. Indeed, the growing literature on spider cognition has even prompted the creation of an immersive virtual reality system for spiders (Peckmezian and Taylor 2015a), turning them into model organisms for research on learning (Peckmezian and Taylor 2015b)."

Here is an 2019 article on Transitive Reasoning learning and memory in paper wasps (The part on memory is amazing, but this paper is pretty huge deal because, previous to this, Transitive Reasoning was a type of higher logic thought only to be utilized by the smarter vertebrates):
https://news.umich.edu/paper-wasps-capable-of-behavior-that-resembles-logical-reasoning/

Here is a fascinating paper discussing the capacity to suffer in inverts:
https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ufaw/aw/2001/00000010/A00101s1/art00010

Here is a 2016 review article discussing the capacity for sentience and subjective experience in inverts:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4983823/#!po=54.2553

And here is a fascinating 2017 paper discussing emotional (yes, emotional!) capacity in inverts:
https://jeb.biologists.org/content/220/21/3856.abstract

I'm a firm believer that setting aside our preconceived notions and oft-repeated misinformation about these animals in order to accurately understand their nature, their actual needs and realistic capabilities, is the only way we can hope to keep them in captivity humanely. (Or as the OP phrased it in the first post, to avoid unintentionally "tormenting" our captive tarantulas.) But the exciting thing to me is that it IS possible to keep tarantulas entirely humanely in captivity, without compromise, when understood properly and cared for correctly... actually, one of the very few animals this could be said for! I really think can be difficult to truly understand them because they are so alien to us.
It's true that they're very adaptable creatures, but surviving is not thriving and I think it's our responsibility, if we're going to keep them captive, to try our best to give them ideal conditions. I believe we need to keep learning and keep questioning the appropriateness of our current husbandry practices, continually. Just my opinion, but a strong one. Current scientific findings can provides us with a whole heap of insanely interesting and helpful information! It's truly amazing all we're learning!

I just get so excited about this kind of stuff. :D
 

Chris LXXIX

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'Captivity' when it comes to Theraphosidae (and other Arachnids, no matter) isn't a negative term at all. Assuming that everyone knows the 'how to', obviously and first, 'captivity' saved and saves those Arachnids.

We aren't talking about lions, tigers, elephants etc but about spiders, and, if given to them the best recreated environment a keeper can offer, this is a very good thing. You can't do the same with the previous mentioned animals, because it doesn't matter the good faith or goodwill, a lion needs to 'breath' the genuine wilderness.

Let's not forget the project of releasing, in India, European/US. CB Poecilotheria spp. of years ago. As maybe 'romantic' this may be, it remains a very legit and good thing.

There's nothing wrong with 'captivity' at all, when it comes to Arachnids.
 

FrDoc

Gen. 1:24-25
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Thank you the compliment, you're a peach. I have a deep appreciation and gratitude for politely shared thoughts and knowledge, good discussions, and the people who take part. Thank you for being a part of that! Here's to equanimous (and hopefully even friendly) dialogue!
---

Yes, I understand that all scientific findings, in all disciplines, are ever-evolving. I understand that's what science is. Accepting that, all we can do (until better information does or does not comes along) is go on what we have now.

I'm not sure how, after reading the study on Complex Maze learning in A. hentzi that I posted, you don't see for yourself that tarantulas are more than only a stimulus=response, purely relexive/instinctual animal. But if you want more evidence to consider, here are my thoughts...

(Below I link some review articles, etc. I love their index of studies they reference, because if I were to question the conclusions of the paper for some reason, I could investigate the source material myself, and draw my own conclusions.)

I could maybe see your point with 'three different doctors with three contradicting opinions' analogy if there were similarly various conflicting opinions within the scientific community regarding the previously stated arachnids' various learning abilities and cognition. But there really isn't at this point. By "established", I mean that the scientific community as a whole has accepted these things. It's not really debated now, I haven't found anything current that still sticks to the rigid sensory-response model for inverts. It's been shown repeatedly that they are not simplistic, robotic stimulus=reaction/input=output virtual automatons that just carry out what their instincts and reflexes have programmed them to do. Coincidentally, just the other day this 2018 review article on Drosophila was shared by boina in another thread on AB:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6127854/
Among other things, it discusses how the strict sensory-response model isn't applicable in inverts and innate behaviours/instincts can sometimes be modified through learning and cognition.
Or like 2017 review article on Extended Spider Cognition:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5394149/#!po=13.6905
Which sums it up pretty well by saying:
"Nowadays, spiders are far removed from their old depiction as hardwired, instinct-driven animals with few learning capabilities. As this brief section will show, spiders behave as if planning routes in advance, show a sense of numerosity, learn conditional tactics of aggressive mimicry, reverse previous learned associations, and adjust their behaviour to altered conditions in a variety of ways. Indeed, the growing literature on spider cognition has even prompted the creation of an immersive virtual reality system for spiders (Peckmezian and Taylor 2015a), turning them into model organisms for research on learning (Peckmezian and Taylor 2015b)."

Here is an 2019 article on Transitive Reasoning learning and memory in paper wasps (The part on memory is amazing, but this paper is pretty huge deal because, previous to this, Transitive Reasoning was a type of higher logic thought only to be utilized by the smarter vertebrates):
https://news.umich.edu/paper-wasps-capable-of-behavior-that-resembles-logical-reasoning/

Here is a fascinating paper discussing the capacity to suffer in inverts:
https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ufaw/aw/2001/00000010/A00101s1/art00010

Here is a 2016 review article discussing the capacity for sentience and subjective experience in inverts:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4983823/#!po=54.2553

And here is a fascinating 2017 paper discussing emotional (yes, emotional!) capacity in inverts:
https://jeb.biologists.org/content/220/21/3856.abstract

I'm a firm believer that setting aside our preconceived notions and oft-repeated misinformation about these animals in order to accurately understand their nature, their actual needs and realistic capabilities, is the only way we can hope to keep them in captivity humanely. (Or as the OP phrased it in the first post, to avoid unintentionally "tormenting" our captive tarantulas.) But the exciting thing to me is that it IS possible to keep tarantulas entirely humanely in captivity, without compromise, when understood properly and cared for correctly... actually, one of the very few animals this could be said for! I really think can be difficult to truly understand them because they are so alien to us.
It's true that they're very adaptable creatures, but surviving is not thriving and I think it's our responsibility, if we're going to keep them captive, to try our best to give them ideal conditions. I believe we need to keep learning and keep questioning the appropriateness of our current husbandry practices, continually. Just my opinion, but a strong one. Current scientific findings can provides us with a whole heap of insanely interesting and helpful information! It's truly amazing all we're learning!

I just get so excited about this kind of stuff. :D
I posted above I would give you the last word, and I meant it. This is in no way intended as a continuation of the original thread (which I opine has run its course), but an answer to a question you posed regarding my take on the A. hentzi study. Succinctly, I find it absolutely fascinating, but I do not find the experiment compelling in the context of arachnid cognition. I find the results truly compelling in the context of arachnid sensory perception. We have very limited understanding as to several aspects of arachnid neurobiology. However, what is known is that their sensory receptors are phenomenally sensitive. Example being the extreme sensitivity of the trichobothria, that in some species can detect a fly within 20-30 cm, enabling the spider to actually jump into the air and grasp it. So, to answer your question, my take on the above referenced experiment centers on sensory input and not cognition. These wee beasties are a mind boggling little bundle of environmental acuity, and it would be my amateur conclusion that this is what may be in play here. However, to quote a resident guru ( @basin79 ), “Every day’s a school day”.
 

basin79

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I posted above I would give you the last word, and I meant it. This is in no way intended as a continuation of the original thread (which I opine has run its course), but an answer to a question you posed regarding my take on the A. hentzi study. Succinctly, I find it absolutely fascinating, but I do not find the experiment compelling in the context of arachnid cognition. I find the results truly compelling in the context of arachnid sensory perception. We have very limited understanding as to several aspects of arachnid neurobiology. However, what is known is that their sensory receptors are phenomenally sensitive. Example being the extreme sensitivity of the trichobothria, that in some species can detect a fly within 20-30 cm, enabling the spider to actually jump into the air and grasp it. So, to answer your question, my take on the above referenced experiment centers on sensory input and not cognition. These wee beasties are a mind boggling little bundle of environmental acuity, and it would be my amateur conclusion that this is what may be in play here. However, to quote a resident guru ( @basin79 ), “Every day’s a school day”.
I'm absolutely not a guru. I've learnt and continue to learn a ridiculous amount from the clever buggers on here.
 

dangerforceidle

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So, to answer your question, my take on the above referenced experiment centers on sensory input and not cognition. These wee beasties are a mind boggling little bundle of environmental acuity, and it would be my amateur conclusion that this is what may be in play here. However, to quote a resident guru ( @basin79 ), “Every day’s a school day”.
Reading the methods of the paper, I'm not sure why you would think the results are due to sensory input rather than learning.

It feels like people here will bend over backwards to discredit the cognitive abilities of inverts and would rather attribute test results to anything else. This exact test method was also used for cockroaches and Lycosid spiders.

You are correct, there are things about invertebrate neurobiology that we don't yet understand, but studies like the one with A. hentzi show us that there is more than meets the eye. On a number of levels. We can't be dismissive about the findings and fall back to preconceptions. That's not science.
 

Rigor Mortis

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No matter what terminology one wants to use to make themselves sleep better at night, when a person takes a wild animal, such as a tarantula, and removes its ability to choose the environment it finds most suitable, that is called captivity.

What your average pet tarantula keeper, and what most of the literature on tarantulas doesn't convey, is that immature and female tarantulas don't usually stay in the same place its entire life. When the location a tarantula settles in no longer becomes suitable, it will leave its hiding place then walk to another location. In extreme conditions (as in abnormal) such as high heat, cold, drought, and low food availability, fossorial tarantulas will adapt to those extremes by plugging up the burrow, lower their metabolism, then wait it out.

In captivity, these behaviors don't occur in obvious ways to someone who has never seen tarantulas in nature and thus have nothing to compare to. With four walls and a roof restricting their movement, discontentment is manifested by chronic digging, chronic climbing (in boreal species), resting on the floor (in arboreal species), plugging up their hides with substrate, webbing up their entire container, etc. A lot of those behaviors are ignored by many pet keepers as "that is a tarantula being a tarantula" which is correct to some degree. It is a tarantula making every attempt to adapt to an unsuitable environment provided by a person who doesn't know better.

All of that being said though, tarantulas make good terrarium pets because even in nature their whole world is only a few cubic feet or less. So being housed in a box with some dirt is perfectly normal for them. But make no mistake about it, even if a tarantula is perfectly content in said box with dirt, their ability to choose their own habitat has been removed. And that would be called captivity.
Great great response. While captivity in and of itself is considered a negative word, I've come to understand the concept of captivity in two ways. One way is where an animal with relatively simple needs is kept with those needs met, to little or no detriment to the animal. This is still captivity but as long as we are able to provide the animal the best care and somewhat replicate their natural environment I don't think it's necessarily bad. And if you notice some "stereotypical" behaviours consistent with discontent, as long as you're able to remedy the issue I don't think this kind of captivity is bad. When I do think it's bad is when an animal has such complex requirements that it is near impossible to keep them happy, healthy, and stable in your care. This is often the case with large mammals such as elephants or cetaceans, whose very nature in captivity is almost always a disaster. This form of captivity is bad (in my opinion) and non-sustainable.

While tarantulas are complex little hydraulic machines, their care is generally simple and we are able to keep them alive, stable, and "happy" in our hands. Well, not in our physical hands. This is why I enjoy keeping them, because it is of very little detriment to their wellbeing not existing in their natural habitats.

(Gosh golly gee I hope that actually makes sense.)
 

SonsofArachne

Arachnoangel
Active Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2017
Messages
927
This thread is funny as it has nothing to do with a tarantulas' well-being rather about using euphemisms to make yourselves and others feel better about keeping animals (in this case tarantulas) in "captivity". It doesn't matter what you call it the results are the same. And while I'm on the subject, just let me say "cage". I'm so sick of writing "enclosure", in fact I cringe a little every time I do, I only do so because I know I'll get a bunch flak for using cage. But call it a enclosure all you want, it's still a cage, It's just two words for the same thing, one just sounds nicer. That's the end of my rant, sorry if anyone was offended, but I really hate feel-good euphemisms.
 

Brachyfan

Arachnobaron
Active Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2019
Messages
317
This thread is funny as it has nothing to do with a tarantulas' well-being rather about using euphemisms to make yourselves and others feel better about keeping animals (in this case tarantulas) in "captivity". It doesn't matter what you call it the results are the same. And while I'm on the subject, just let me say "cage". I'm so sick of writing "enclosure", in fact I cringe a little every time I do, I only do so because I know I'll get a bunch flak for using cage. But call it a enclosure all you want, it's still a cage, It's just two words for the same thing, one just sounds nicer. That's the end of my rant, sorry if anyone was offended, but I really hate feel-good euphemisms.
That was my point exactly.
 
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