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:4/11/2017)... Florida , April 11, 2017 ... a security technology company, announces the appointment of independent Directors ... Bendheim to its Board of Directors, furthering the company,s ... ... of NXT-ID, we look forward to their guidance and benefiting ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today ... one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into the human ... first application of deep learning to create predictive models ... and a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen ... future publicly available resources created and shared by the ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... KEY FINDINGS The global market ... CAGR of 25.76% during the forecast period of 2017-2025. ... for the growth of the stem cell market. ... MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem cell market is segmented ... The stem cell market of the product is segmented ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... While things have been quiet for ... company and provide a new outlook for the future. As a continued effort ... management with the retirement of Mr. Siegel as CEO. With the new adjustments in ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... April 27, 2017 , ... ... digital pathology, today announced their digital pathology technology has the potential to eliminate ... five medical centers in The Netherlands as part of the 2017 ISBI ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... April 27, 2017 , ... During the course ... how testing for 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D can enhance clinical practice. Participants will learn the ... dihydroxyvitamin D. , Dr. Gregory Plotnikoff, senior consultant with Minnesota Personalized Medicine, will ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... 27, 2017 , ... The Council for Agricultural Science and ... Lusk, a consummate communicator who promotes agricultural science and technology in the public ... explains how innovation and growth in agriculture are critical for food security and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: