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Jumping spiders spin silk mid-air to control their flight

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Spiders are more commonly known for spinning intricate webs and trapping other insects for dinner, but there are species of jumping spiders that have the ability to leap distances 50 times their body lengths — akin to we humans jumping over a football field in a single bound. These spiders also have the uncanny ability to steer while mid-air, and a new study from researchers in Taiwan shows that the arachnids use silk draglines to do so, as opposed to the typical flapping of wings that other flying creatures use. Once the spider leaps in to the air, it begins to instantly spin up silk that it drags behind it to change its course and prepare for landing. The scientists also posit that the spider uses some sort of "internal brake" to come back down to earth at the exact point it needs to to capture its prey. You can see the effect of a spider jumping with its silk drag net and without in the high-speed footage below.