A recent research revealed that spiders can travel vast distance and are well endowed to colonize new areas quickly. Employing a technique called ballooning; spiders can travel up to 30 km a day in their quest for new haunts and food.
Comic hero Spiderman has special powers that enable him to transverse large distance in a jiffy. When it comes to special powers, the spider has abilities to cross vast distances across the water like a ship.
It was a notion that spiders forays were always risky, and it could do little to control over where they traveled.
The research was pioneered by Dr Morito Hayashi from London’s Natural History Museum, London, who said that even Darwin was surprised to find flying spiders that kept dropping on his ship, ‘The Beagle’ which was miles away from land. However spiders are land dwelling creatures and have scant control when they are ballooning, and it brings into fore a question,’how can evolution contemplate such risky action to be maintained?’
Dr Morito and his team discovered that spiders adopt postures to make the best use of the wind direction to control their journey over water. Spiders drop silk and stop on the water surface at their will. It amply covers the risks of landing on water after an uncontrolled flight.
Dr Morito and his team started with 325 adult spiders from small islands in Nottinghamshire area of Britain designated as natural reserves. The team discovered that the spiders gave elaborate postures like raising two legs in unison to take advantage of the wind on the water surface. It allowed these creatures to sail virtually in turbulent, still, fresh and salt water conditions. The spiders even dropped silk on the water much akin to ships dropping anchors to slow or stop their movement. It would also serve as a dragline for water trapped spider to cling on to any floating objects.
The study also answered the question of how the spider managed to survive if they accidentally fell on water