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11

The Speedy Spider

The fastest mammal in the world is the cheetah but there are creatures like the slingshot spider that can outpace it, with the help of some really amazing threads. Because the spider can launch itself with about 100 times the acceleration of a cheetah, it is considered the fastest moving arachnid known.

Found in the Peruvian Amazon, slingshot spiders weave conical webs. These webs have a single strand attached to the tip of the cone, which the spider reels in to ramp up the tension. When the spider senses a potential meal, it releases the web. The spider and web together zing forward, ensnaring the prey. “Just like that, our spider has dinner,” biophysicist Symone Alexander of Georgia Tech said at the meeting.

(Image credit: Lawrence E. Reeves/Science News)


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