The Spider That Smells Its Way Home

Most people probably assume that spiders have amazing eyes that have adapted to see anything during the jungle nights. Actually, with the exception of a few spiders, most spiders stumble around like fools in the dark just as we humans do. And like humans, spiders need tools to help them navigate through the dark. The jungle dwelling whip spider uses its legs as its primary tool for successfully navigating itself home during the black of night. However, the whip spider does not just use its legs for the obvious task of crawling, it also uses its legs to smell its way back home.

Researchers, in a clear act of cruelty, have observed the whip spider’s ability to find its way back home in the dead of night after being thrown several meters from its dwelling. Initially researchers believed the whip spiders’ amazing navigational abilities were made possible by their advanced eyes. Now, after a study conducted by researchers from Bowling Green University, it has been determined that the whip spider possesses antennae like structures on each of its front two legs that act as an extra-sensory mechanism that exists to enable the whip spider to navigate through dense jungle terrain during the darkest nights. Researchers are still unsure as to what particular smells attract whip spiders.

Do you know of any other spider species that possess sensory mechanisms on their legs?



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