Monday, May 27, 2024

Revealing unprecedented details on how spiders build their webs | Science


Spiders have amazing ability to create intricate and beautiful webs, but how they are built remains a mystery. Spiders show superior ability to weave intricate geometric webs, but these webs – which have fascinated the human imagination for thousands of years – are a mystery to scientists who have always wondered how they are constructed.

Awesome webs

Recently, a research paper was published in the journal “Biological current(Current Biology) provides an explanation for this mystery, as scientists used night vision cameras and used artificial intelligence to study how the spider’s eight legs move when creating a web. Creating a network based on the position of the spider’s legs.

According to its press release, Johns Hopkins University (Johns Hopkins University) on November 2, commented on the study; Behavioral biologist and research leader Andrew Cortes notes that “spider webs are very surprising and impressive, but we do not know much about this remarkable behavior that helps to develop their tiny brains.”

Cortis added, “They understood the whole movement needed to create this web, which has not been described so accurately for any animal structure.”

Although animals do not build their homes like humans do, we are not unique in our ability to build; Some high mammals build nests just like many birds do. Crab builds mud buildings like chimneys, and some sedge flies make protectors for larvae to live in, but not all of these buildings are as intricate, varied and beautiful as spider webs.

Motion monitoring

To detect the movements that the spider was able to create its web, scientists monitored 6 spiders – each night – of the “Ulophorus diversus” type; It is a non-venomous insect-eating spider, a few millimeters long, and this spider – widespread in the United States and Mexico – creates intricate webs every night to catch its prey.

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Using cameras and infrared lights, the researchers recorded the movements of spiders as they formed webs at night, and these movements were recorded from 26 locations distributed over different parts of each spider’s body that were monitored each night.

However, it is difficult to create a complete map of the spider’s movements, confirms Abel Gorver, the study’s first author.

“It’s difficult to manually monitor the changes in each frame (the sequence of images that make up the video), so we’re trained in an artificial tracking program that could detect the positions of the spider’s legs in different frames (of the video) – so we could document each movement and construction,” Gorver added. The whole network of these movements.

Although the final shape of the web varies from one spider to another, the rules used in construction are the same (Shutterstock)

Single motor skills

In this way, the researchers were able to record how the 21 spider webs were built, including the posture of the different body parts that helped the spiders create their intricate webs.

Therefore, this is the first step in understanding how the brains of young spiders work to shape this complex network. The researchers found that the process of creating the web involved the same movements and motor abilities in all surveillance spiders, and could predict which part of the web would be created based on the position of the foot alone.

“Although the final shape of the web is slightly different from one spider to another, the rules used in construction are the same, meaning that these rules are encrypted in their brains, so it’s interesting to see how these rules work in the future. Coded in neurons.”

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Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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