kyle cassidy (kylecassidy) wrote,
kyle cassidy

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Some thoughts on web construction.

trillian_stars has been getting up at 5 am to go to kickboxing, so I've been getting up at 5 am to go running and, lately, when I get back it's been just in time to watch Emily build her web, which seems to happen around 6 am. It's very peaceful to stand there, listening to the birds chirp, drinking a cup of tea and watch this little creature do this amazing thing.

Web building is a lot slower than I'd thought. Each strand it painstakingly placed, slowly ... she uses three or four of her legs to hold on to her web, the front two often waving in search of the next radial, and with her back two feet she pulls silk from her spinnerettes and carefully places it. She uses her own body to measure distances. (Scientist Bill Eberhard discovered that spiders brains can be larger than their head, sometimes even filling up parts of their legs to provide them with everything they need to perform these complex tasks.)

Once the web is done, she sometimes signs it with some stabilimenta, then she sits down in the center and waits.

She's a sentry out there protecting our picnics from flies.

[photo of Emily sitting in her newly constructed web behind this cut]

Emily, protecting the humans. You may clickenzee to embiggen!

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