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Real-life SpiderMan: Thomas Shahan

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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photo by Thomas Shahan

As the science media today is carrying news of how spiders use defocus to judge distance, I thought it an opportune moment to share the portfolio of a master of spider portraiture. Oklahoma artist Thomas Shahan may scarcely be out of college, but he is recognized worldwide for his startling portrayals of jumping spiders. If you’re not yet aware of Shahan’s portraits, drop what you are doing right now and have a look:

Thomas Shahan

You’re welcome.

For coverage of the new spider vision study:

Alex Wild About the Author: Alex Wild is Curator of Entomology at the University of Texas at Austin, where he studies the evolutionary history of ants. In 2003 he founded a photography business as an aesthetic complement to his scientific work, and his natural history photographs appear in numerous museums, books and media outlets. Follow on Twitter @myrmecos.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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  1. 1. makinaro 4:50 pm 01/26/2012

    Excellent! Been a fan of Shahan for a while now, and his photos never cease to floor me. Especially tiny animal hairs. Crazy!

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  2. 2. MrApikoros 11:11 pm 01/26/2012

    It has given me The Fear.

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  3. 3. Alex Wild 11:52 pm 01/26/2012

    To be followed by The Loathing?

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  4. 4. Capularis 7:13 pm 01/27/2012

    The Lovely. Note: in the second image you can see the camera and his knuckles in the reflection in the eyes…

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