It’s kinda creepy, in that Chucky-doll-esque kind of way!
Meet the happy-faced spider sure to make you smile
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:09 PM on 23rd April 2009
This amazing happy-faced spider found in Hawaii is bound to leave you beaming from ear to ear.
The tiny insect, which measures just a few millimetres across, has developed bizarre markings which look just like a smiling face.
Scientists think the spider, which is harmless to humans, has evolved the patterns to confuse predators.
But it’s no laughing matter for the spider which is under-threat from extinction from its home in the rainforests of the Hawaiian island chain in the Pacific ocean.
Spider expert and geneticist Dr Geoff Oxford, 62, from the University of York, said studying happy-face spiders was a real joy.
He said: ‘I must admit when I turned over the first leaf and saw one it certainly brought a smile to my face.
‘There are various theories as to why the spider has developed the markings it has, one of these that it may be to confuse predators.
‘When a bird or other predator first sees a prey item it has not seen before there is a moment before it decides whether to eat it or not.
‘It may be that this spider has developed these variations to take advantage of this, in the moment the predator is deciding if it is food it may have the chance to escape.
‘I don’t think the smiling face is enough to put off a bird though, but it would be nice to think so.
‘Not all happy-face spiders have such striking markings, and some are nearly all orange or all blue.’