Thursday, October 1, 2020 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
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OEB Seminar

Paul S. Shamble, John Harvard Distinguished Science Fellow, Harvard University, will discuss "How Spiders Jump."

Jumping is a way of life for jumping spiders (Salticidae). With seeming ease, they regularly leap gaps many times their body length. In reality, jumping presents fundamental physical and physics-based challenges. Salticids have evolved unique ways of overcoming some of the constraints inherent to this form of locomotion. This talk will explore the mechanisms of jumping in a multi-legged, silk-producing system. Using the common jumping spider Salticus scenicus, we developed a high-speed camera system to quantify jumps and to experimentally manipulate silk-tension. We ask how spider silk is used to control orientation and trajectory—even mid-flight—and discuss the application of these findings to future research on novel forms of locomotor control and the evolution of spider silk.

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Contact Name: 

Christian Flynn

Research Areas: 

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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