Spiders able to hear over long distances

The phrase 'spidey senses" may not be as far-fetched as the movies suggest.
By Cliff Mooneyham | Nov 03, 2016
The phrase 'spidey senses" may not be as far-fetched as the movies suggest. Spiders are one of the most diverse and well adapted species on the planet. They have a variety of defense and attack mechanisms that scientist have not yet fully understood.

One of the misunderstood theories is that spiders were only able to hear over three feet. This was because spiders do not have ears like mammals and relied more on other sensory organs, point and case, their eight eyes.

However, scientists did deduce that they can pick up vibrations from a much longer distances, catering for the hearing need. However, new studies show that the jumping spider can actually hear over distances of 10 feet.

"Our group was working on making recordings of the brains of jumping spiders," says Shamble, who was a graduate student at Cornell at the time. "This was something that hadn't been done before and we came up with a new technique to do it."

Shamble says that one day as he was moving his seat back it made a squeaking sound that caused the equipment monitoring the spider's brain to pop. He did it again and the same effect occurred. He then moved further from the room and clapped again the machine popped.

But to remove the idea that the spider simply responded to the vibrations of the sound and not the actual sound. The team of scientists set up the equipments that minimized vibrations. Again, each time sound was produced the equipment popped.

The team explained that many animals have a backup system to spot predators. In this case listening would work when the spider couldn't not spot a wasp, its greatest predator. It would instead pick up on the wasps flapping buzzing wings.


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