And Now, Let's All Watch This Spider Do Some Cartwheels

Scientists have identified a new — and exceptionally agile — cartwheeling-spider. Oh, and did we mention that they've also built it a robotic companion?

Top image: The Moroccan Flic-Flac Spider salutes the judges, before gearing up for a tumbling run /Ingo Rechenberg

The spider, Cebrennus rechenbergi or the Moroccan Flic-Flac spider, was first found by Ingo Rechenberg of the Technical University of Berlin. Rechenberg passed the spider along to Peter Jäger of the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt to determine its precise taxonomy. But before he did, Rechenberg used the spider's gymnastic moves to design the robot you see alongside the spider in the video below.

And Now, Let's All Watch This Spider Do Some Cartwheels

Jäger recently published his results in Zootaxa, which conclude that the spider really is a new species, and suggests a little about why the spider moves the way it does. It's a response to perceived threats, but not just because a cartwheeling spider looks more dangerous than usual — it also lets the spider move twice as fast..

You can see more of the Moroccan flic-flac spider in the video below or in the Zootaxa.