July 26th, 2016 by Mike MacDonald in Spiders
If spiders weren’t scary enough to people already, there are actually some that can “fly”.
Do you ever wonder why you run into random spider web strands but never see a full web?
Not every spider can “fly”, it’s usually only the little ones or even sometimes only baby spiders that can do it. It’s a technique called “ballooning”. Spiders that perform it can travel a few meters or for some even long distances. Spiders can use this strategy to simply travel, or also as a means to sneak up on or reach prey.
Spiders will climb up on high plants or objects and shoot strands of their webs out. These web strands will catch air currents, and then the spiders are lifted up into the air. Unfortunately for the spiders, they don’t have much control over this mode of transportation. This is one reason you randomly run into spider webs with no spiders in sight.
“Ballooning” can be very dangerous and many spiders die in the process. Depending on wind speeds and weather conditions some spiders can reach extreme altitudes in the upper atmosphere. Some spiders displaying this phenomenon have even be recorded as high as 16,000 feet above sea level. This can explain how spiders can reach high mountain peaks or travel to previously uninhabited islands.
Spiders can “fly’ and “walk on water”?
Spiders have water resistant legs and many can stand on the surface of the water in both fresh water or salt water. This ability combined with ballooning has helped spiders to populate all over the world. Spiders sometimes have been known to land on ships at sea in the middle of the ocean as they either end up running into the sails or land on the boats.
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