Spider Demonstrates How to Build a Web

Have you ever considered how much engineering talent goes into building a website? I mean, a spider web? An orb-weaving spider must deal with a crushing schedule, two kinds of materials, design decisions, and the laws of physics. From Wikipedia:  

Generally, orb-weaving spiders are three-clawed builders of flat webs with sticky spiral capture silk. The building of a web is an engineering feat, begun when the spider floats a line on the wind to another surface. The spider secures the line and then drops another line from the center, making a "Y". The rest of the scaffolding follows with many radii of nonsticky silk being constructed before a final spiral of sticky capture silk.

The third claw is used to walk on the nonsticky part of the web. Characteristically, the prey insect that blunders into the sticky lines is stunned by a quick bite, and then wrapped in silk. If the prey is a venomous insect, such as a wasp, wrapping may precede biting and/or stinging. Much of the orb-spinning spiders' success in capturing insects depends on the web not being visible to the prey, with the stickiness of the web increasing the visibility and so decreasing the chances of capturing prey. This leads to a trade-off between the visibility of the web and the web's prey retention ability.[4]

Many orb-weavers build a new web each day. Most orb-weavers tend to be active during the evening hours; they hide for most of the day. Generally, towards evening, the spider will consume the old web, rest for approximately an hour, then spin a new web in the same general location. Thus, the webs of orb-weavers are generally free of the accumulation of detritus common to other species, such as black widow spiders. 

Now watch that all come together in this fascinating time-lapse video. 

Spiders are born knowing how to build webs, but now we have to wonder if rebuilding one every night results in more efficiency or better webs. -via Nag on the Lake 

#spiderweb #spider 

More Neat Posts