For along time, scientific evidence considered that spiders are dominated by touch and sight. But the characteristics of these arachnids can be both terrifying and impressive.
So, do spiders have ears? Spiders don’t have ears or eardrums but jumping spiders can hear sounds even from 5 meters away. A recent study show that spiders have tiny sensitive hairs to detect sound.
Details: Do Spiders Have Ears?
According to the Paul Shamble research, their study showed that spiders have acute hearing senses. These insects, despite lacking ears and eardrums, will hear sounds from far distances.
Definitely, the research notes that the spider’s eardrums are small but its sensitive leg hairs will help the insect to detect sounds. Current research shows spiders will hear humans clap and talk in 5 meters.
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Spider’s Legs Are Sensitive To Sound Waves
Past knowledge suggested that the hairs on the spiders legs are sensitive to sound waves plus other airborne vibrations – but they said this was limited to sounds only near the spider’s body length.
Definitely, most researchers had not realized that the spiders would also interpret the sound waves to a neural activity – this implies that the arachnids could actually hear the sound waves not just sensing even when the spiders are resting.
Deeper Recording than Just Visual Information
The study conducted on hidippus audax (jumping spiders) where the researcher were doing neural brains recordings for the spiders analyzing their processes of processing visual data.
However, Menda conducted an analysis deeper into the spider’s brain as outlined in this study – this was unlike their norm in the previous research on the spider’s visuals.
When Menda was moving from the spiders, the chair did some squeaking in the laboratory floor. The spider’s neurons fired with the chair squeaking – they could hear a ‘pop’ sound. Again the neural recordings fired again.
To clarify their discovery, the researchers did clap as they moved away from the spider to check when the neurons firing would stop. But the neurons firing continued up to 5 meters from the spider.
Menda reported that the accidental discovery had just enabled the researchers to begin a new journey into testing the spider’s hearing capability.
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Testing Spiders Hair using Water Droplets
Menda and team went on to determine the spider’s hearing capability by placing some droplets of water on the insects legs – the main was to reduce the vibrations that would happen on the hairs.
But the spider’s auditory neurons could no fire – which would mean the arachnid could not hear. Tests showed spiders were sensitive to sounds at low frequencies (80 Hz -130 Hz) like for wasps’ wing-beats.
However, even with their slight haring, spiders won’t hear like human do – this is because their brain process such information in a different way.
The researchers are now examining if spider species like fishing spiders and wolf spider show similar reaction on sound waves – as shown in Current Biology.
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Can Spiders Hear You Scream?
When fear comes – particularly when attached by spiders, you’ll definitely scream but can the arachnids hear you? However, first, vibrations and visuals, are more pronounced.
Previously, researchers thought that spiders could only hear sounds and noises that are just around the insects body. Spiders will smell, taste but will sense vibrations (on hearing) via tiny holes nand hairs all over its body.
Some spiders species such as Phidippus audax and jumping spider do hear noises and sounds that are up to 5 meters away from the spider.