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Tarantulas use 'silky slippers' to anchor to slippery surfaces

16 May 2011 Last updated at 17:59 BST

It is a question scientists have long wanted to answer, why is it that large and heavy spiders like tarantulas are able to anchor themselves to slippery vertical surfaces without falling?

A team from Newcastle University have found the answer and the discovery helps explain how spiders first evolved their silk-spinning abilities.

Victoria Gill reports.