But when it comes to ensnaring their prey?
A decorated or not decorated web, for spiders, works just the same.
So why do it at all?
Scientists have cracked the secret code in the decorations of web-making spiders…
Oh, good cause you know I was worried.
*shakes head sadly*
[via Physorg] 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.
“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. The study was published in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. [Read More]
Or, for spiders?
It could be that they just have a twisted, sinister sense of humor and these decorations are in truth nothing more than a warped case of ‘X’ marks the spot…
A mark to aspire to when entangling their prey.
Loom tells the story of a successful catch.
Directors: Jan Bitzer, Ilija Brunck, Csaba Letay
Technical director: Fabian Pross
Production company: Filmakademie BW
Producer: Regina Welker
Sound: Joel Corelitz / waveplant
Artists:Felix Mertikat, Jin-Ho Jeon, Roman Kälin, Tom Weber, Christian Hertwig, Silke Finger, Jacob Frey, Leszek Plichta, Georg Schneider, Anja Wacker, Andreas ‘Felix’ Gebhardt, Falko Paeper, Sarah Eim
5.1 Mix: David Axelbaum / Airstream Audio
I’m guessing the latter.
Spiders are kind of evil bastards that way.