Breathing, Underwater

June 14, 2011

Tags: Argyroneta, silk

A fascinating new study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology has found that the silk diving bell of the European water spider, Argyroneta aquatica, is more than just a bubble-holding net: it actually functions like a gill, drawing oxygen from the surrounding water.

You can watch a water spider in action here. Notice how it pops its abdomen above the water surface to gather more air to drag back to the diving bell.




Tags

"...a compelling introduction to evolution in action through the lens of spiders and their silks."

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