Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh, The Loh Down on Science is a fun way to get your daily dose of science plus a dash of humor in less than two minutes.
Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh
Airs Weekdays 2:43 and 3:43 a.m.

Slingshot Spiders





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Here’s the most exciting new thing on the inter-web - Extreme Spider Sports!

 

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science,.

 

Meet the triangle-weaver spider. Most spiders just sit on their web and wait. But the triangle-weaver sends hers flying! First, the spider stretches out her web, creating tension. When prey lands, she lets go, flinging herself and the web like a slingshot towards the prey! That’s a talented spider!

 

Sarah Han from the University of Akron suspected there was more than meets the eye. So she built a triangle-weaver sanctuary filled with tantalizing flies. Then she analyzed how fast the spiders moved when they captured prey.

 

Results? These spiders accelerate faster than a space shuttle! But -- the numbers weren’t quite adding up. Even twenty spiders together can’t create that much fire power!

 

Turns out that the triangle-weaver uses the web as a power boosting tool. Amazing!

 

The triangle-weaver is the first animal known to use such tool! Aside from humans, that is.

 

Who wants to try a spider silk slingshot? Could be the next big thing in bungee jumping!