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A Bug That Jumps Far But Stays Rooted

Jul 31, 2011 5:00 AMNov 12, 2019 5:12 AM
iStockphoto | NULL


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THE MOMENT A female cardinal jumper, one of more than 5,000 species of jumping spider, leaps to a landing perch. Excellent vision, courtesy of eight eyes, allows the spider to target prey and then pounce; a piece of silk fastened to the launch point serves as a safety line. Some species can jump up to 50 times their body length. The jumper’s legs are not particularly muscular; instead, it derives power from a hydraulic system that suddenly forces fluid into the hind limbs.

THE SHOT Photographer Scott Linstead captured the jump with a laser-triggered Nikon D300 and a Sigma 150mm macro lens. A small spotlight on the landing area in the otherwise dark studio encouraged the spider to make the leap toward the camera.

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