Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: In the depths of N'Kai
I have many pets and I try to recreate their natural habitats as well as possible. Many of these pets are arthropods.
When you have an animal like an insect or a spider, you have to remember that they do not have quite as big of an intellect as they do a library of complex instincts that will carry them to their ultimate goal - to breed and further the species. After keeping and watching them my entire life, I notice that insects tend to rely less on problem solving and thinking than they do basic computations that have been given to them over the years of trial and error that their species have endured. They will mish-mash some of their more simple solutions to create ways to overcome obstacles, while still maintaining the emotions and characteristics that are associated with animals in general.
What this all boils down to is, if everything looks familiar to you, you have a good source of food and water just like you did before you randomly were taken out of your habitat and "put back into" it, and the only thing that seems to be different are large glass walls that you can't climb over or figure out what to do with, you usually decide to ignore it, and walk away, and the next time you find it you go "huh" and decide to ignore it again.
And if you do manage to climb it, you'd relate it to a tree or something of the like, and just sort of assume you were surrounded on all sides by trees, but considering there are the resources you need to survive and reach your ultimate goal, you'd go "huh, trees, big whoop" and continue with whatever it was you were doing before you encountered the walls.
I maintain that insects are in fact intelligent, and do experience emotions, but they are more simplistic than other animals, say, cows or pigs or humans, who would sense something awry if they were randomly picked from one habitat and placed into another. They rely more on instinct and simple problem-solving techniques than emotion or drawn-out thinking as some of the more "intelligent" species do. So if the animals are not being harmed, and they are being treated properly, I find nothing wrong with a few months of behavioral research.
Enjoying the view over at http://forum.veggieviews.com/