Spiders Are Musical Masters

We all know that spiders weave their webs in order to catch prey, but actually spider webs are useful to spiders on more levels than even the experts know. Spiders may not play music on their webs, but spiders do know how to use their webs to hit and perceive very specific tones.

Researchers at The University of Oxford have experimented with spider webs by shooting various webs with guns as well as lasers in order to see how the webs vibrate upon impact. The guns were shot at the webs in order to get an idea as to the full range of vibrational frequencies that could be produced by vibrating strands of silk, and the lasers were used to measure these frequencies.

After inputting a lot of data the researchers discovered that spiders were able to sense vibrational frequencies that measured down to nanometers. Spiders construct their webs with such delicacy that they can make distinctions between even the most similar of vibrations. Spiders can sense vibrations in their web so well that different vibrations seem to indicate which type of bug was caught in their web, and this is gathered from the particular type of fluttering some bugs will resort to when trying to escape a spider web. In addition to discerning food, spiders also use vibrations from their web to communicate information related to mating as well as the structural integrity of the web. Researches believe that with further study, fake spider silk could be produced in a lab to be used to engineer all sorts of technologically advanced gadgets.

What kinds of new technology or devices could this new silk be used to create?





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Smithereen Pest Management provides IPM pest services to residential and commercial clients in Kansas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Missouri. http://www.smithereen.com/
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