Thursday, September 22, 2016

Grasshopper feet

Yesterday, a BIG grasshopper appeared on our dining room window and climbed around on the glass. At first, I didn't think anything about it. Then I thought, Hmmm, I wonder if it has feet similar to a jumping spider's? See, the feet of jumping spiders (and other spiders) have dense tufts of hair called scopulae, which enable them to walk up walls and other sheer surfaces. These scopulae adhere using an extremely thin water film on the surface, like a piece of wet paper might stick to a mirror. 

Now I'm no expert, but I'd suspect that a grasshopper must use a similar trick. So I fetched my camera and took some shots. The photos aren't that great, but you can see the wide round pad on each foot, which must adhere to a surface like scopulae do. Thus, our grasshopper guest was able to climb up our window. Cool!



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