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This “snail shell spider” uses its web to hoist objects up high

From the BBC’s Madagascar, narrated by David Attenborough, watch how the small and elusive Olios coenobitus spider uses its web threads like rope, hauling an empty snail shell into the island’s native thorny succulent bushes… or even higher. Suspended above the ground, the spider will take shelter within the shell. From the BBC News in 2011:

Olios coenobitus was first discovered in 1926 but few studies have been made of it in the wild since… In the 1960s, French scientists studied the spiders in captivity and recorded their unique home-building method. Researchers observed the spiders hoisting snail shells many times their own weight off the ground using a network of silk threads. The captive spiders raised snail shells up to 8cm from the floor in order to shelter inside them. However, anecdotal evidence suggested that in the wild the spiders’ aerial homes reached much grander heights.

Check out this related story at io9, or watch more videos about kinds of rope, spiders, and Madagascar, including Madagascar’s Giraffe Weevil.

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