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Author Topic: How does a spider 'know' how to spin its web?  (Read 11105 times)

Offline oatman

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How does a spider 'know' how to spin its web?
« on: 16/04/2011 12:05:49 »
I was watching a spider building its web and started thinking, how does it know how to do it? To build that most efficient shape for catching flies?

When I think of other animals (namely mammals) they learn by copying their parents etc but I cant imagine this applies to spiders! There brains are pretty limited and I imagine their intelligence is too, so seems to difficult a thing to 'work out' quickly.

Other answers I've heard include things like 'they just know' 'its in their instinct'

This sort of thing sounds like they are saying, animals can inherit information about the world and how to act, from their genes, which sounds crazy to me!

Any wisdom on this would be much appreciated!

« Last Edit: 16/04/2011 12:14:42 by oatman »


 

Offline RD

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How does a spider 'know' how to spin its web?
« Reply #1 on: 16/04/2011 14:54:29 »
A spider-like web can be simulated just by repeatedly following a set of rules ... http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/~jer/spider.pdf

i.e. the spider need not have an overview of what it is creating to build a web. 
« Last Edit: 16/04/2011 14:57:48 by RD »
 

Offline Dasyatis

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How does a spider 'know' how to spin its web?
« Reply #2 on: 21/04/2011 20:22:06 »
Instincts are behavioral action patterns triggered by environmental releasers, and are indeed controlled by genes. This means that web-building can be passed down generation to generation, and it's believed that lineages can actually be drawn based on web design in arachnids. Building a web is an instinctive behavior; however, the spider can learn to make modifications based on a situation. Those learned modifications cannot be passed down to the next generation.
 

Offline granpa

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How does a spider 'know' how to spin its web?
« Reply #3 on: 22/04/2011 08:55:24 »
how do your eyes know how to process visual information?

to the spider its just 'common sense'.
 

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How does a spider 'know' how to spin its web?
« Reply #3 on: 22/04/2011 08:55:24 »

 

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