Tuning Webs

img_3562-cSpiders are fascinating insects.

img_3494Despite their many eyes, they have terrible eyesight.

img_3613Yet, they are great at catching prey.

img_3598A variety of characteristics contribute to their efficiency as predators; for some spiders, one key factor is their web.

img_3571Scientists studied two species of spiders that spin webs: the Nephila edulis & the Araneus diadematus and found that these spiders ‘listen’ to their webs.

img_3415When building a web, spiders will adjust the tension, length & density of their silk.

img_3296These variations allow them to feel different vibrations through each strand.

img_3383-copySpiders, with sensors on their 8 legs, can sense every tiny movement in their webs.

img_3540Sometimes, spiders will also initiate a vibration by bouncing or plucking on their web in order to receive more information from the echoes that return.

img_3605-copyThrough these vibrations, spiders can locate insects that have been ensnared and gauge their distance as well as their size.

img_3455Thus, with the aid of their webs, spiders have developed to be pretty great as predators.

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http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/06/140605-spiders-silk-webs-pluck-string-vibrations/

http://www.npr.org/2014/06/10/319179807/spiders-tune-in-to-webs-music-to-size-up-meals-and-mates

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/adma.201401027/full?isReportingDone=true

http://rsif.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/12/113/20150633

http://rsif.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/13/122/20160341

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