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Thread: Do orb spiders look at their webs?

  1. #1 Do orb spiders look at their webs? 
    Time Lord
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    Laying out, they appear to follow a rule set that requires no contemplation. They seem to navigate and weave the web using legs as compasses, measuring and perhaps counting.

    Has anybody tried blinding spiders at different stages of web construction?


    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  3. #2  
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    Orb spiders often spin their webs at night, even under heavy clouds and no moon. Their eyes apparently lack the physical ability to resolve web strands more than an inch or two away (complex brain processing of the multiple images might help some, but there is no evidence of that). They lack the ability to visually resolve objects in their web at any distance - they will rush over toward a tuning fork humming against a web strand just a few inches away, only pausing in their approach when very close.

    There is no need to blind spiders to investigate further, and the blinding probably could not be done without affecting their behavior in many disparate ways preventing the drawing of conclusions - such as destroying their ability to orient themselves in space, which is different from destroying their ability to see their web.


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  4. #3  
    Time Lord
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    Thanks. :-D

    I'm thinking that the evolution of web pattern is constrained by affordable morphology, especially of the legs: To evolve a different web, a spider must evolve different legs.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by pong
    I'm thinking that the evolution of web pattern is constrained by affordable morphology, especially of the legs
    Spiders given drugs spin aberrant webs, sometimes of types known to be spun by other kinds of spiders - so at least that avenue of evolutionary change is open, as well.
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