New research suggests that climate change could make spiders not only more numerous but larger and faster on their feet
Forget floods, droughts, sea-level rise and even the melting polar ice caps. Here’s a really compelling reason to worry about global warming. Spiders.
Research has already suggested that there will be more of them – and they will grow bigger – as temperatures rise. Now a new study, published in the journal Experimental Biology, has concluded that they are likely to be able to run faster and therefore, be harder to catch.
Warm weather speeds up the spiders' joints (AP)
It all comes down to how the arachnids move. Instead of using muscles, they rely on fluid to move their limbs. And as it heats up, the fluid’s ebb and flow gets faster. So the researchers found that while they moved sluggishly at a cool 59F (15C), they sprinted around at three times the speed when the thermometer rose to a stifling 104F (40C).
They sped up mainly by taking more steps, which also made them clumsier because they were unable to control their limbs so well. So there you have it: more bigger, speedier spiders, which are more liable to stumble into your bath.
Memo to Miss Muffet: our response to those insisting that we will easily adapt to climate change has to be: “No whey!” I am leaving this planet on the big mother ship headed into the cosmic void.