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Web Wonders from A Creative Mind

God’s creative ability truly is more wondrous than anything man can conceive. For example, the spider and its web elicit considerably more astonishment than the man-made intricate world wide web. The 48,000 known species of the spider were given an awe-filled treatment by the magazine New Scientist.

Weighing between 50 and 80 milligrams most spiders know how to plan ahead. They alter the size and structure of their webs according to the remaining silk reserves in their glands, ensuring that they don’t run out midway. They are also sensitive to the weather. In low temperatures, they make simpler structures with bigger gaps between the spirals to avoid spending too much time exposed to the cold.

Spiders are so adept in the manufacture of their webs, that in most cases the prey has no chance. They tweak the tension of silk strands to boost the transmission of vibrations from a struggling insect, allowing the spider to respond more quickly. They can even learn from near misses. If their prey hits the web but then escapes, spiders will lay down more sticky silk to ensure this doesn’t happen in future.

Like humans, spiders have a fondness for travel. Spider silk--the envy of human engineers--is put to a huge range of uses. This includes using it for a sort of flight known as “ballooning,” in which a few threads, lifted by electrostatic forces in the atmosphere, carry them far and wide on nothing more than a light breeze. Spiderlings are known to survive without food while travelling in air currents of jet streams for 25 days or longer.

Source:

David Robson, “Spiders think with their webs,” New Scientist (2-5-20); https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballooning_(spider)

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