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Slingshot Spider

Dragon
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Post by Dragon Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:18 am

Tasty insects, look out: This spider is a speed demon. When it spots prey, it launches itself and its web like a slingshot. This gives it about 100 times the acceleration of a cheetah.

Fittingly, these tiny creatures are called slingshot spiders. They live in the Amazon rainforest of Peru. Their web shot makes them the fastest-moving arachnids known, says Symone Alexander.

She works at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, where she studies the physics of living things. Alexander described the speedy spiders here, March 4, at a meeting of the American Physical Society.

Slingshot spiders weave conical webs. The webs have a single strand attached to the tip of the cone. The spider reels in that strand to ramp up the tension. When it senses a potential meal, it releases the web. The spider and web then together fling forward. This ensnares the prey. “Just like that, our spider has dinner,”

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Dragon
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Post by Dragon Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:19 am

Slingshot Spider 030519_ec_slingshot-spider_feat
Credit: Lawrence E. Reeves

To catch its prey, the slingshot spider sends itself and its web flying at extreme accelerations. The motion makes this the fastest known arachnid.

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Slingshot Spider 334pu7m
Dragon
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Post by Dragon Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:22 am



Credit: Jeff Cremer/PeruNature.com

The slingshot spider launches itself and its web by reeling in a thread attached to the web’s center, and then releasing it. Scientists studying this motion determined it is the fastest spider movement yet recorded.

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