Eyes of the hunter
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However monstrous it seems, this is actually a small jumping spider (family: Salticidae), its head measuring only 2-3mm. This is no crop, this is 10 megapixels of gritty details!
If you think you can take it, take a deep breath, then view this photo Large, On Black!
Notice: I cannot be held responsible if you have nightmares later, though :-)
- Added to the Cream of the Crop pool as most interesting.
- Submitted to JPG Magazine, theme "Creatures": jpgmag.com/photos/611761
Canon EOS 400D + Canon EF 100mm Macro + reversely mounted Canon EF 35mm.
Shot at ISO:200, f/32, 1/200sec, using the camera's on-board flash, bounced on a sheet of white paper positioned behind the subject.
The most fascinating feature of jumping spiders (aka. salticids) are their eyes. They have excellent vision, with among the highest acuities in invertebrates. Their eight eyes are arranged in such a way that makes them easily recognizable among other spider families: grouped four on the face (the two big Anterior Median eyes in the middle, and two smaller Anterior Lateral eyes to the side), and four on top of the carapace (two medium-sized eyes toward the back, and two very small eyes in front of them).
Read more about how they function, in this comprehensive article (complete with diagrams), by Wayne Maddison, on the Tree of Life web project: Jumping Spider Vision.
I also recommend checking out this article by Anna Mitros, to see how this biological feature can inspire and motivate a scientist working on Visual Sensors: Vibrating Retina.