Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Arachnid engineering

I don't really understand the engineering involved, nor even how spiders produce their webs. What I do realise now is how fast they can work and how strong the webs can be.

This specimen appeared on my outside terrace on Sunday afternoon. I had walked through this space just 70 minutes earlier since when this skilled and talented arachnid created this remarkable structure. It is half-a-metre wide, and is secured to adjacent plants which stand at about 1 metre either side of it. So that is an overall span of over two and a half metres, on a day with some breeze. How do they do that?

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