The largest orb web documented in nature is made by Darwin’s bark spiders, black, hairy looking arachnids that are “no bigger than a thumbnail.” They construct their massive ‘nets’ across rivers to catch their prey, starting with a bridge or anchor line that is carried on the wind. The size of the webs range “from 900 to 28,000 square centimetres (140 to 4,340 sq in), with anchor lines spanning up to 25 metres (82 ft).” More from Wikipedia:
“The spider was discovered in Madagascar in the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park in 2009. Its silk is the toughest biological material ever studied, over ten times tougher than a similarly-sized piece of Kevlar. The species was named in honour of the naturalist Charles Darwin, with the description being prepared precisely 150 years after the publication of The Origin of Species, on 24 November 2009.”
The BBC captured this surprising footage for episode 8 of The Hunt.
Related listening: Vermont Public Radio’s But Why? podcast for curious kids: Why Do Spiders Have Eight Legs?Next: Spiders that hunt and eat fish, “flying” spiders that can glide through the air from tree to tree, this cartwheeling spider, a spider weaving its web in time lapse, and more spider videos.
This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.
Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.