Tagged With spiders

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Researchers from the UK and Spain have shown that spiders are capable of tuning their webs, allowing these eight-legged critters to receive specific information about their environment, including the presence of prey, potential mates and the structural condition of the web.

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Trap-jaw spiders hunt by sneaking up on their prey and rapidly snapping their mandibles shut, but scientists weren't entirely sure about the mechanics involved. Using high-speed video, researchers from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History have chronicled just how these spiders manage such an impressive combination of power and speed. The details can now be found in Current Biology.

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Video: Here's time lapse footage of a garden orb spider building out its web. It's really interesting to see the process from the start when it seems like a few random strands connected to each other, and especially cool to see it at the end when it's all completed and ready to catch its first prey. The whole web spinning process is detailed perfectly to help you understand what's going on too.

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Spiders are notorious for their bizarre and often violent mating practices. New research shows that, in order to avoid getting eaten during sex, male nursery spiders will tie up their partners with silken threads. And yes, it's as horrible as it sounds.

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Here's a fun fact to chew on while planning your next trip to America: the southwestern United States is brimming with tarantula diversity. Today in the journal ZooKeys, biologists describe 14 previously unknown species of tarantulas living in the American Southwest, including Aphonopelma johnnycashi. Country music legend Johnny Cash has a new namesake.

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Male animals can be greedy about paternity. They have evolved a ton of different strategies to help them monopolize a female's eggs. Beating up rivals is a general favourite. Some species use long bouts of sex to keep females away from new mates. Still others stop up female genitals with gooey plugs or bits of broken male genitalia.