Araneae

What happens when you ask an undergrad to draw a spider?*

This summer the arthropodologists in my department are being moved from one building to another, as part of the mysterious¬†game of reshuffling that university administrators so enjoy. As preparation¬†for the move, I’m downsizing the contents of my filing cabinets. In a folder from 2004 I found this collection of drawings from the first time I taught Biology 108, Introduction to Biological Diversity. I had given two lectures on arthropods with a strong emphasis on differences in appendages and tagmata among the major groups. This is what I thought was an easy bonus question on the final exam: draw a spider and label the relevant parts. Here is a selection of drawings, from ‘quite respectable’ to ‘huh?’.

spider01spider02

spider04spider03spider071spider05spider06spider07spider08spider09

Based on the last image, some university students believe that spiders should be speared on toothpicks and served in martinis.

*apologies to Facebook friends who’ve already seen a version of this.

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