TALANTA: Tiny “slingshot spiders” found in Peruvian forests have been revealed to actually use their nets as slingshots to hunt. Fires from and catches prey while flying.
Not only that, but during fires, these spiders increase their speed at a rate of 1,300 meters per square second, which is 100 times faster than a fast leopard attacking prey.
During flight, they move towards their prey at a speed of 4 meters per second and their body experiences about 130 times more gravity (130G) than normal gravity (G force). Even a fighter pilot can carry a maximum power of 10G.
They belong to the family Theridiosomatidae, which includes spiders ranging in size from 1.5 mm to 3.0 mm. Despite their small size, these spiders are known to attack their prey by flying very fast. But how does she do all this? Experts had only assumptions about this but no one knew the truth.
To find out, Dr. Saad Bhamla, a Madras-born American scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), traveled to the forests of Peru with his colleagues. The team was equipped with high-speed and sensitive cameras that could be seen even in the dark of night. This was necessary because these spiders prey on mosquitoes and flies flying in the air at night.
After months of dusting the forest and filming the spiders, he returned to the United States, where he began watching the videos carefully. The videos show that threadsomatidi type spiders make nets to hunt, but when they have to hunt a mosquito or a spider, they reach the very center of the net and hit a branch or rock behind the net. Throw the wire of your net; Just like “Spider-Man” does.
The thin spider’s web attaches itself to the rock or wood that the spider begins to pull back. In response, the tension on the web increases and it turns in the opposite direction to form a cone (like an ice cream cone). Returns to its original position. But at the same time, the web bounces the spider in the air with great force and it flies away and goes to its prey. In this process, which is completed in just a few seconds, the spider regularly aims at its prey and accordingly creates an elbow in its web.
That is, somehow, the spider knows in which direction and at what distance the net should be tensed to catch the prey and in which direction it should bend. While this discovery has solved a riddle, it also raises the question of whether a tiny spider with such a tiny size could have been able to hunt its prey in such a systematic way, with extraordinary skill.