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Legs detect airborne vibrations: spiders


Hairy surface of a number of legs of a venomous brown recluse spider / Janice Carr .. / LicensePD - Public Domain

The legs of some spiders detect airborne vibrations of approaching insects thanks to specialized vibration-sensitive hairs, called trichobothria, on certain leg segments.

"Spiders can detect vibrations traveling through the air from sources far away. They can do this thanks to specialized vibration-sensitive hairs, called trichobothria, on certain segments of their limbs. These hairs are able to move in any direction, and tell the spider the direction from which an object is approaching and its size. They are so responsive to airborne vibrations that they can even detect those caused by the wings of insects in flight, alerting the spider to the approach of a potential victim as it heads toward the spider's web." (Shuker 2001:36)
About the inspiring organism

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Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Highly efficient wind turbines due to blade surfaces that are extremely sensitive to shifts in wind direction.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Wind industry, high-tech manufacturing

Shuker, KPN. 2001. The Hidden Powers of Animals: Uncovering the Secrets of Nature. London: Marshall Editions Ltd. 240 p.
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