How does the spider movement work

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Such a wheel network is well thought out and adapted to the everyday life of the spider. The spider lives in the safety net and hides there until the prey arrives.

The net has many auxiliary threads that have different functions: as a tensioning aid, trip hazard, signal or means of communication.

The construction of a web follows a plan: the spider first tensions auxiliary and stabilizing threads before starting fine-tuning. "This is a very complex process and a real achievement for a comparatively simply built living being like the spider," says the biologist Thomas Lübcke.

Growth by moult

Coordinating eight legs without accidents is another feat that the spider manages. She can move each leg individually, independently of the others.

This can sometimes be seen when a spider sits in the sun and apparently only has seven legs - one of which it has bent under its body.

"The running takes place according to a certain choreography: the 1st and 3rd legs on one side are moved simultaneously with the 2nd and 4th on the other, always alternately", says Thomas Lübcke.

If the spider loses a leg, that's not a big deal. She can also cope with less. "It only becomes problematic when only the back legs are left, which makes running difficult," says Lübcke.

If the spider is lucky in misfortune, leg loss occurs at a young age. Then the leg grows back and is released during the next moult. Spiders have a firm exoskeleton that allows them only limited growth. They therefore grow by moulting.

Every time they completely drop their shell, they're about a fifth larger than they were before.

Spider poisons against cancer?

Although there are so many species of spiders, research still knows comparatively little about these animals. New species are constantly being discovered and their way of life is being studied. "Jumping spiders, for example, have very exciting communication rituals," says Thomas Lübcke.

How intelligent are spiders? What role does your social behavior play? And how does their presence or absence affect food chains? There are innumerable questions that scientists still want to answer.

The arthropod poison is one of the exciting topics. In order to stun or kill its prey, the spider injects small doses of a highly effective poison directly into the body via its biting claws. This is rare for humans and dangerous in a few species.

The pharmaceutical industry is very interested in these cell toxins. "In oncology, the aim is to isolate the most effective and at the same time tissue-friendly substances for combating tumors - they hope to find something like that in spiders," says Lübcke.