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Diving spiders make their own gills

Like underwater insects, aquatic arachnids can pull oxygen from water

In Germany’s Eider River, spiders not only swim with the fishes, they kind of breathe like them, too.

Eurasian diving bell spiders (Argyroneta aquatica) survive entirely underwater by living in large air bubbles, which the crawlers trap in silken webs. A new study shows that these bubbles work like a “physical gill,” drawing oxygen in from the water to match much of the spider’s consumption. Researchers from Australia and Germany report their findings in the July Journal of Experimental Biology.

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