Tiny leg hairs keep spiders adhered to surfaces, study finds

02/2/2014 | National Geographic News (free registration)

Thousands of tiny hairs on the ends of a spider's legs help the arachnids stick to surfaces, researchers say. The method allows the spider to quickly detach itself, unlike the more permanent gluing method used by a barnacle, according to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology. "Temporary attachment systems, like hairy adhesive pads, can be used multiple times [and] adhere strongly enough to hold the animal, but the contact can be loosened very quickly and effortlessly," said biologist Jonas Wolff of the University of Kiel in Germany.

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