How spiders can fly: researchers discover they make almost invisible paragliders

German researchers studied crabeater spiders to understand how arachnids & # 39; fly. & # 39; They do & # 39; paragliders & # 39; from dozens of fine silk fibers to catch the wind

Researchers may have finally solved the mystery of how adult spiders can "fly".

Previously it was believed that spiders used one or two silk fibers to catch the wind, but scientists at the Technical University of Berlin, Germany, discovered that arachnids actually do "paragliders". from dozens of strands woven together.

Many types of spiders have been found almost three miles in the air and can travel hundreds of miles using their paraglider.

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German researchers studied crabeater spiders to understand how arachnids & # 39; fly. & # 39; They do & # 39; paragliders & # 39; from dozens of fine silk fibers to catch the wind

German researchers studied crabeater spiders to understand how arachnids & # 39; fly. & # 39; They do & # 39; paragliders & # 39; from dozens of fine silk fibers to catch the wind

"The fibers are very difficult to observe with the naked eye," aerodynamic engineer Moonsung Cho told New Scientist.

"That is why, until now, we have not been able to explain the flight of the spiders & # 39; inflatables & # 39;".

Baby spiders are known to "fly away" with balloons to avoid being eaten by their siblings, but researchers were not sure how the larger and heavier spiders achieved the same feat.

Cho and his colleagues studied adult crabeater spiders that can weigh 16 to 20 milligrams.

They picked up the arachnids in a laboratory and also captured some of the Lilienthal park in Berlin.

They captured the trips of the spiders in video.

They discovered that the tiny animals first anchored to the platform and then lifted one leg to test the wind.

Then they spin the balloon-shaped fibers that are up to 13 feet long and form leaves. triangular

Two of the fibers are thicker, but then they create 50 to 60 thinner fibers with only 200 nanometers thick, almost invisible to the naked eye.

The thinner fibers help lift the heavy crabeater spiders into the air.

IS IT A SPIDER FEAR IN OUR DNA?

Recent research has claimed that fear of spiders is a survival feature written in our DNA.

The scholar suggests that, dating back hundreds of thousands of years, the instinct to avoid arachnids developed as an evolutionary response to a dangerous threat.

It could mean that arachnophobia, one of the most oppressive phobias, represents a finely tuned survival instinct.

And it could be traced back to early human evolution in Africa, where spiders with very strong venom existed millions of years ago.

Study leader Joshua New, of Columbia University in New York, said: "Several species of spiders with specific venoms of powerful vertebrates populated Africa much earlier than hominids and have coexisted there for tens of millions of years.

"Humans were at perennial, unpredictable and significant risk of finding highly poisonous spiders in their ancestral environments."

However, they also observed that sometimes the spiders cut the fibers and released them if the wind conditions were not adequate.

For crabeater spiders, the wind has to be less than 7.3 miles per hour

After takeoff, the spiders cut the safety line that holds them to the ground.

"Most winged insects wave their wings to build a vortex of air to lift their bodies and make them float," Cho told Gizmodo.

However, the silks are so thin that they use the viscosity of the air to stay in the air.

"From the point of view of spider silk, the air is like honey."

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