Meet the cartwheeling spider, otherwise known as Cebrennus rechenbergi
Native to Morocco, this nocturnal spider cartwheels across the desert in a display of skilled gymnastic ability. It is the only species of spider known to move in such a fashion – there a spider with similar capabilities but only able to roll downhill. The cartwheeling spider is able to roll across the dunes of the desert, uphill and downhill, and also backwards! Discovered in 2014, scientists got quite the shock when they came across this arachnid.
But why does it cartwheel?
Cartwheeling seems to be a much faster way for this spider to get around. Propelling itself from the ground, it is able to jump 2 meters (6.6 feet) per second. But for its size, this impressive talent takes up a lot of energy by moving this way, it can double its normal walking speed. It appears the only use for this skill is to outrun predators and these spiders will only be seen cartwheeling when they feel threatened.
Featured image: “Cebrennus rechenbergi 1” by Ingo Rechenberg – Ingo Rechenberg. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cebrennus_rechenbergi_1.jpg#/media/File:Cebrennus_rechenbergi_1.jpg