Tagged With spiders

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2016 was a difficult year and 2017 doesn't stand to get any better, so here's the bad news — the ghost spiders have flown over to a remote island, evolving into new species scientists were previously unaware of. In order to fly, spiders use a technique called ballooning, turning their silk into a sort of kite that takes them long distances. National Geographic reports that a new study finds that ghost spiders — named for their light complexion — ballooned themselves to the famous Robinson Crusoe Island and have since evolved at a rapid pace.

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Researchers from the UK and Spain have shown that spiders are capable of tuning their webs, allowing these eight-legged critters to receive specific information about their environment, including the presence of prey, potential mates and the structural condition of the web.

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Trap-jaw spiders hunt by sneaking up on their prey and rapidly snapping their mandibles shut, but scientists weren't entirely sure about the mechanics involved. Using high-speed video, researchers from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History have chronicled just how these spiders manage such an impressive combination of power and speed. The details can now be found in Current Biology.