Quieter vibes for city spiders

Webs built on artificial structures may vibrate less than in nature

By Stephen Ornes, 08:42 AM March 25, 2014

A spider can sense when a delicious bug gets caught in its web. It feels vibrations on the silky threads as its prey fights to escape. That’s when the predator moves in for the kill. This spidey-sense may work better in some places than others, a new study finds. Walls, metal poles or other human-made structures can dampen a web's natural vibrations. And that could make it harder for a spider to know that dinner is calling.

 

In lab experiments, spiders with less-mobile webs were slower to dete...

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