Spiders can hide underwater for 30 minutes, new study finds

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Many creatures share a desire to hide and disappear, and some take “disappearance” to new heights.

According to academics from Binghamton University, State University of New York, a species of tropical spider uses an “air film” to hide underwater from predators for up to 30 minutes.

Spiders can hide underwater

(Photo: DAMIEN MEYER/AFP via Getty Images)


Lindsey Swierk, assistant research professor of biological sciences at Binghamton University in New York, spotted a huge tropical spider (Trechalea extensa) escaping from people and taking shelter underwater.

This species had never before been reported to use water to escape.

Swierk had previously discovered a species of Costa Rican lizard that could hide from predators by remaining submerged for 16 minutes.

The scientist claimed that for many animals, getting wet and cold is almost as dangerous as dealing with predators in the first place.

Trechalea spiders were not previously known to hide underwater from hazards, and especially not for such a long time.

However, it has been discovered that the spider can submerge itself for about 30 minutes.

He maintained a “film” of air over his entire body when underwater.

“Whenever the spider is submerged, the film of air surrounding it appears to be held in place by hydrophobic hairs wrapping around the entire surface of the spider’s body,” Swierk explained.

“It’s so complete that the spider almost looks like it’s been dipped in silver,” according to ScienceDaily.

“Because these spiders breathe air, the air layer can function to keep the breathing openings away from the water. The air layer can also serve to reduce heat loss to cold stream water in which the spider submerges.”

Swierk believes the discovery sheds new light on how animals deal with the difficulty of seeking shelter underwater.

Read also : Carnivorous garden spiders are actually omnivores, researchers say

Other ways to hide from spiders

Cryptic coloration, or camouflage as it is commonly known, is an important trait that has a significant impact on animals, according to LSA.

This affects their ability to live and reproduce. Camouflage is a surprising common characteristic shared by many species.

It has been observed in a wide range of species, from tiny beetles to huge herds of zebras. Camouflage allows them to sneak up on their prey and hide from predators.

When we say an animal is camouflaged, we usually mean that it has color patterns that resemble where it lives or another more dangerous species.

Some creatures do this by being created with certain color patterns that match a background, while others can change their appearance to match their surroundings.

Determining how these spiders change color adds to our understanding of this species of spider, about which little is known despite its wide range.

Additionally, it explains how spiders hide in general. The wider applicability of this finding is how it relates to our knowledge of the development of camouflage.

The evolution of camouflage is intriguing, and examining its development in different species could provide scientists with clues as to why it exists in specific species.

Additionally, it will help us know when it might be happening or what would drive a species to use camouflage.

Related article: Spiders can travel thousands of miles by harnessing Earth’s electric fields, research shows

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