Jay Stafstrom

Every night when the sun goes down, Florida's net-casting spiders emerge, startling onlookers with record-breaking, enormous eyes.

Now, a new study shows that the two giant eyes among the spiders eight total peepers make the key difference in helping the spiders to see better at night, and zero in on prey walking nearby.

Stafstrom captured 29 Deinopis spinosa spiders and used a toothpick to paint a layer of dental silicone over each spider's two large eyes.

The results were similar; the spiders with impaired sight were less likely to capture prey in this case, crickets than were the able-eyed spiders.

The spiders' large eyes likely help them hunt at night, during low-light situations, Stafstrom said.

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