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Diving bell spiders use air bubbles like gills

Insights into how the “diving bell spider” can spend its whole life underwater have been revealed.

The spider breathes air which it traps in a dome shaped web that it suspends between aquatic plants. Researchers have found that their air bubbles act like gills, extracting oxygen from the water and that the spiders only need to resurface once a day to replenish their air supply.

“Previous research had suggested the spiders had to come to the surface as often as every 20-40 minutes throughout the day. Instead, we found that the spiders could sit still for long periods of time, continuing to use their diving bells to extract oxygen even from the most stagnant water on a hot day,” researcher Professor Seymour said.

Read more at University of Adelaide

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