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Smithsonian Science How Webcast

Powerful Predators - Adaptations of Trap-Jaw Spiders

In this video, entomologist Dr. Hannah Wood explains how she studies tiny trap-jaw spiders, and how they hunt for prey.


Meet Dr. Hannah Wood, an entomologist at the National Museum of Natural History. Find out how trap-jaw spiders prey on insects using a combination of stealth and power-amplified snapping jaws. Accompany Hannah on a journey to Chile and New Zealand to get a glimpse of these remarkable predators in action. Compare their hunting techniques with related spiders to understand more about spider diversity and evolution. See how Hannah uses 3-D modeling techniques to understand how spiders work. This show aired January 12, 2017.



National Middle School Standards

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Life Science


From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • MS-LS1-4Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively.


Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • MS-LS2-1Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.


Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
  • MS-LS4-2Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships.
  • MS-LS4-4Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals' probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.

All Q?rius Resources for These Standards

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