Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 22171067
Link to DOI – 10.1098/rsif.2011.0690
J R Soc Interface 2012 Jun; 9(71): 1131-43
Using measurements based on particle image velocimetry in combination with a novel compact theoretical framework to describe hair mechanics, we found that spider and cricket air motion sensing hairs work close to the physical limit of sensitivity and energy transmission in a broad range of relatively high frequencies. In this range, the hairs closely follow the motion of the incoming flow because a minimum of energy is dissipated by forces acting in their basal articulation. This frequency band is located beyond the frequency at which the angular displacement of the hair is maximum which is between about 40 and 600 Hz, depending on hair length (Barth et al.  Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B 340, 445-461 (doi:10.1098/rstb.1993.0084)). Given that the magnitude of natural airborne signals is known to decrease with frequency, our results point towards the possible existence of spectral signatures in the higher frequency range that may be weak but of biological significance.