Navigation Links
Scientists crack the spiders' web code
Date:5/31/2011

Decorative white silk crosses are an ingenious tactic used by orb-weaving spiders to protect their webs from damage, a new study from the University of Melbourne has revealed.

The team, led by Dr Andre Walter and Professor Mark Elgar from the University of Melbourne's Department of Zoology, found that orb-weaving spiders respond to severe damage to their webs by building bigger silk crosses, but if the damage is mild they don't bother adding extra decoration.

Professor Mark Elgar said web damage is costly for spiders as a lot of nutritional resources are required to rebuild a web. "So they evolved this ingenious way to minimise unwanted damage," he said.

"It's much like we mark glass windows with tape to prevent people walking into them," he said.

The team collected a group of orb-weaving spiders and left them to build their webs in the laboratory. Some of the completed webs were severely damaged, others lightly damaged and the remainder left alone. The response of the spiders was then observed.

"The fact that spiders increased their decorating activity in response to severe damage but didn't increase their decorating following light damage suggests that the conspicuous building of silk crosses serves to make webs more visible to animals that might accidentally walk or fly into them," Professor Elgar said.

Adding silk decorations to spiders' orb-webs was first reported over a century ago but why these spiders decorate their webs has been the topic of controversial debate for decades.

"Our study helps unravel this mystery," Professor Elgar said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Charlotte Crawford
charlotte.crawford@unimelb.edu.au
61-383-448-151
University of Melbourne
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Scientists discover fossil of giant ancient sea predator
2. Scientists discover the largest assembly of whale sharks ever recorded
3. Syracuse University scientists discover new hitch to link nerve cell motors to their cargo
4. Scientists list top 10 new species
5. Scientists find new drug target in breast cancer
6. Wildlife in trouble from oil palm plantations, according to scientists
7. UCSB scientists make strides in vision research
8. Southampton scientists to help create a sustainable energy system for the UK
9. Nottingham scientists reveal genetic wiring of seeds
10. Scientists discover switch to speed up stem cell production
11. UCSB scientists track environmental influences on giant kelp with help from satellite data
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Scientists crack the spiders' web code
(Date:4/28/2016)... Sweden , April 28, 2016 First ... M (139.9), up 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 ... profit totaled SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin ... 7.12 (loss: 0.32) Cash flow from operations was SEK ... The 2016 revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... CHICAGO , April 15, 2016  A ... companies make more accurate underwriting decisions in a ... offering timely, competitively priced and high-value life insurance ... health screenings. With Force Diagnostics, rapid ... and lifestyle data readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... 31, 2016   ... the "Company") LegacyXChange is excited to release ... soon to be launched online site for trading 100% ... ) will also provide potential shareholders a sense of ... to an industry that is notorious for fraud. The ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of ... the Cary 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the ... of the spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Mosio, a leader ... “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical research professionals, ... providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The landscape of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical ... novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, ... been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. ... of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. ... designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 A person commits a ... crime scene to track the criminal down. An ... Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has increasingly ... support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as possible, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: