It’s incredible how clever some animals are.
When most people think of spiders, they picture a few distinct characteristics: big eyes, eight legs and, above all else, the ability to spin webs.
Often seen strung across windows, doorways, tree branches, and ceiling corners, these webs allow spiders to capture and contain their prey. For most arachnids, slinging webs to capture insects like flies is an essential part of surviving.
But what about spiders found in less hospitable environments?
The spoor spider lives in the arid deserts of Africa. Due to the location’s blazing heat and lack of foliage, spoor spiders can’t string a traditional web and wait for flies to pass by.
In order to eat, they have to get more creative.
The spoor spider uses a clever system of camouflage to capture ants that are twice its size. To do this, they use the desert to their advantage.
In less than 30 seconds, spoor spiders attach their web to sand crystals and string them together to make a net. After doing so, they burrow underground and hide inside the cool Earth, leaving one strand of web at the surface to notify them when an ant passes.
Once the strand vibrates, the spoor spider rockets back to the surface, grabbing the unsuspecting ant with its leg and pressing it down into the hot sand. Unable to withstand the heat, the ant is cooked alive.