The Kid Should See This

Spiders Tune Their Webs Like A Guitar

Much more than just a net to catch prey, spider webs can transmit lots of information about what has been caught or what might be visiting. Oxford researchers have recently discovered that the strands of silk vibrate at different sound frequencies and in different patterns, giving the spider additional details about what’s going on. It works much like a string instrument. From

The team suspects that spiders may even set out to make a web that ‘sounds right’ so that it can provide the information the spider needs. Evidence that supports this has been observed in the garden cross spider Araneus diadematus which, after finishing building the web, “turns around on the hub and pulls at each radial thread in some sort of sequence; in response to what she ‘feels’ she often readjusts a tension by reconnecting the thread to the hub mesh,” explains Professor Fritz Vollrath, also from the Oxford Silk Group. “This very clearly is a process of tuning” of the overall web tensions, which affects how signal is transmitted.

That may or may not happen a little like this Skunk Bear animation:


In the archives: more videos about vibration, more Skunk Bear, and lots of spider videos.

via Skunk Bear.

🌈 Related videos

The Animal That Wouldn’t Die: The Hydra

Rion Nakaya

Popcorn Under A Microscope – NPR’s Skunk Bear

Rion Nakaya

Schlieren flow visualizations: What Does Sound Look Like?

Rion Nakaya

In search of the elusive ladybird spider

Rion Nakaya

This “snail shell spider” uses its web to hoist objects up high

Rion Nakaya

Human-Powered Helicopters: Straight Up Difficult

Rion Nakaya

A waterless & chemical-free sound wave fire extinguisher

Rion Nakaya

What does a Tibetan Singing Bowl sound like?

Rion Nakaya

Singing Tesla Coils: Inspector Gadget

Rion Nakaya

Browse the TKSST Video Collections

Get 7 smart videos delivered every week.