Science + Spiders = Awesome!

2 comments June 22nd, 2006at 09:54pm Posted by Eli

Try to imagine a world without spiderwebs:

The classic spider’s web, like Charlotte would have woven, was invented just once, way back in the Cretaceous period some 136 million years ago, scientists report.

Called an orb web, it’s the generally circular style spun by two major types of spiders, which had raised the possibility of the two groups evolving this form separately.

But a paper in Friday’s issue of the journal Science says a comparison of the spider genes related to web making shows that the orb web developed just once.

(snip)

While the two groups probably developed orb-web spinning from a common ancestor, they came up with different ways of making the web catch prey.

Araneoid webs have glue droplets that make prey stick to the web, while deinopoids wrap their threads with a different type of silk fiber that ”the spiders comb, until it almost has the appearance of Velcro under a microscope, and they snag insects that way,” Garb reported.

On the other hand, I think jumping spiders are kinda cute…

(And there are Velcro spiders? I had no idea.)

Entry Filed under: Photoblogging,Pittsburgh,Science

2 Comments

  • 1. four legs good  |  June 22nd, 2006 at 10:29 pm

    Velcro spiders? spiders invented velcro?

    I thought we got it from the aliens? Who knew?

    You know what makes me mad? when the freaking word thing is impossible to read.

  • 2. Eli  |  June 22nd, 2006 at 10:36 pm

    Yeah, that’s a pet peeve of mine too.

    Surely it is not necessary that they be unreadable by *anybody*.


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