Spiders are much studied species and have been in existence on earth for millions of years, a period very much earlier than man. Yet, new studies on these 8-legged creatures called arachnids continue to baffle our scientists.
Recently, it was discovered by scientist that spiders can hear sounds from as far as ten feet. Previously, it was established by science that spiders can only hear sounds from a distance of three feet.
Mammals have ears that detect changes in air pressure which their brain processes by converting pressure changes into sounds, enabling them to hear sounds from long distances . Spiders, however, have no true ears and rely only on the hairs of their body to detect air movement.
It was a big surprise to Paul Shamble, a scientist who conducted studies with colleagues at Ron Hoy's laboratory at Coronel University. Shamble, presently working at Harvard University explained that "The sensory world of the tiny jumping spider was thought to be dominated by sight and tactile touch"
A new study showing that a jumping spider, Phiddipus audax, can hear sounds up to10 feet is a big revelation to scientists. Paul Shamble has this to say: "Surprisingly, we found that they also possess an acute sense of hearing. They can hear sounds at distances much farther away than previously thought, even though they lack ears with the eardrums typical of most animals with long-distance hearing."
Shamble narrates that they made the new discovery when the research team was doing neural readings using sensitive instruments. As they moved away from the spider, the speakers kept on making popping sounds which led them to conclude that sounds as far as 10 feet were being detected by the spider.
With this new finding, people will look at spiders on a different light than previously thought. It is wonderful to note that even without hearing organs, they are able hear sounds.