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?’.
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.