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Thread: Why don't insects recognize the traps of spiderwebs and human ears?

  1. #1 Why don't insects recognize the traps of spiderwebs and human ears? 
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    Insects comprehend and are able to spot many of the things and creatures that and who can kill them. Why doesn't that apply to spiderwebs and human ears? Spiders can't eat without spinning webs, but that does not explain why their prey is unaware of the matter. The latter have extremely sensitive bodies, so they should be able to see the substance that they will get stuck to. They ought to also be able to feel the slight change in air pressure next to a web before they fly into it. Insects are interested in carbon dioxide, and some like dark places and small crevices, but these don't quite cover why certain beings invade human ears. Tiny creatures know who we are and that we can easily end their lives, so why do they want to share our bodies? The ones who aren't parasites don't get anything from us, and blindly crawling into a spot that they will probably not leave alive contradicts insects' constant worries of being caught.


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    Forum Junior Double Helix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theresa View Post
    Insects comprehend and are able to spot many of the things and creatures that and who can kill them. Why doesn't that apply to spiderwebs and human ears? Spiders can't eat without spinning webs, but that does not explain why their prey is unaware of the matter. The latter have extremely sensitive bodies, so they should be able to see the substance that they will get stuck to. They ought to also be able to feel the slight change in air pressure next to a web before they fly into it. Insects are interested in carbon dioxide, and some like dark places and small crevices, but these don't quite cover why certain beings invade human ears. Tiny creatures know who we are and that we can easily end their lives, so why do they want to share our bodies? The ones who aren't parasites don't get anything from us, and blindly crawling into a spot that they will probably not leave alive contradicts insects' constant worries of being caught.

    For an answer to this interesting question about spider webs and their effectiveness, we must look at insect vision and evolution.

    Since spiders have been catching insects in their webs for many millions of years, it seems likely that the victim's inability to detect the presence of the web is why they work so well. As it turns out, the silk that spiders use to make their webs does not reflect much light that insects can pick up with their compound eyes. Their eyes also do not offer a great deal of resolution, so fine details like a web would not be easily detected. Spiders successfully evolved these traps based on the limitations of their victim's vision.

    Consider the fly in your house. It keeps ramming into the screen window, bouncing off of it, and ramming it again and again. That window is where the light is coming from, and it wants to get into that light. But it simply cannot see the screen, just as it would not see the spider's web.

    Regarding the ear insects. From the first post : "Tiny creatures know who we are and that we can easily end their lives" is a supposition, not a fact. Because if this were true, they instinctively would not invade human ears. Lethal consequences typically select against such behavior. Back to evolution.

    These insects simply have never developed instincts that certain "holes" they climb into can be lethal. As long as enough of a given species are not "lost" due to ear penetrations, they will survive indefinitely.


    Last edited by Double Helix; June 1st, 2021 at 08:43 PM.
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