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How do you suppose spiders find their way around?

 
 
roger
 
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 03:02 am
I mean, how do they navigate those webs? Most of the little darlings have eight eyes, some have six, but they are all on top. The legs are on the bottom. They can't possibly see either the web or their feet, but they sure make good time when they're motivated.

Feel free to speculate
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Type: Question • Score: 5 • Views: 4,635 • Replies: 11
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 05:45 am
@roger,
I speculate that they do it with a combination of senses, but primarily by feel and deduction.

With any two legs on a strand of web, they could instinctively deduce where the third (or fourth) foot should probably land in order to contact the strand. In addition to this, they have hairs on their legs which may help them pinpoint where the strand is (because the strands are basically linear, except near the junctions).

As for junctions in the threads, they may have a bit of memory regarding their own web structure and they may have a bit of a view of their web "horizon" along with general "feeling around" with a leg to see if you hit a junction thread.

This question reminds me of a story by Naturalist named Loren Eiseley. See below...

Quote:
Eiseley is hunting fossils on a rainy morning in his beloved Badlands or Wild Cat Hills. He encounters a hug orb spider tending her web in the buffalo grass. He touches a strand of the web with a pencil; the spider tends her guy-lines, and tries to read the movements but the message is incomprehensible.

A pencil point was an intrusion into this universe for which no precedent existed. Spider was circumscribed by spider ideas; its universe was spider universe. All outside was irrational, extraneous, at best raw material for spider. As I proceeded on my way along the gully, like a vast impossible shadow, I realized that in the world of spider I did not exist.

As he tramps on his way, he contemplates the white blood cells racing through his body, as indifferent to their host and ignorant of him as the spider is unknowing of the universe beyond her web. Thoughts rush in on Eiseley and the reader: the evolution of human life, the tenuous hold of the individual and the species to a place on the earth. Then, Eiseley offers his own analysis:

I saw, at last, the reason for my recollection of that great Spider on the arroyo's rim, fingering its universe against the sky. The spider was a symbol of man in miniature. The wheel of the web brought the analogy home clearly. Man, too, lies at the heart of a web, a web extending through the starry reaches of sidereal space, as well as backward into the dark realm of prehistory. His great eye upon Mount Palomar looks into a distance of millions of light-years, his radio ear hears the whisper of even more remote galaxies, he peers through the election microscope upon the minute particles of his own being. It is a web no creature of earth has ever spun before. Like the orb spider, man lies at the heart of it, listening. What is it we are a part of that we do not see, as the spider was not gifted to discern my face, or my little probe into her world?

dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 07:54 am
@roger,
Clever tootsies and memory.

0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 08:27 am
I wouldn't say the spiders cannot see that far down. My peripheral vision has allowed me to see, on the rare occasion, what the person behind me is doing.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 08:57 am
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

I wouldn't say the spiders cannot see that far down. My peripheral vision has allowed me to see, on the rare occasion, what the person behind me is doing.


I read up a bit on spider vision and no longer hold that view.
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 10:11 am
@roger,
Ever encounter a jumping spider? (hope you don't mind my using your thread as a testing ground, Rog.)

http://www.naturephoto-cz.com/photos/krasensky/jumping-spider-1669.jpg

The jumping spider family (Salticidae) contains more than 500 described genera and over 5,000 species, making it the largest family of spiders with about 13% of all species (Peng et al., 2002). Jumping spiders have good vision and use it for hunting and navigating. They are capable of jumping from place to place, secured by a silk tether. Both their book lungs and the tracheal system are well-developed, as they depend on both systems (bimodal breathing).

Can you see it?




djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 10:16 am
@roger,
i suspect they use google maps

i mean come on, they're the original web surfers
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 11:39 am
@djjd62,
djjd62 wrote:

i suspect they use google maps

i mean come on, they're the original web surfers

Hey, that's pretty funny! Laughing
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 11:58 am
@rosborne979,
Thank you, rosborne, for quoting my all-time favorite naturalist Loren Eiseley. And that analogy of a spider's universe to our own is one of my all-time favorite Eiseley quotes.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 06:56 pm
@Letty,
I see it, Letty, but if I ever saw one, the details were way too small to make out. Thank goodness.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 08:51 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Merry Andrew wrote:
Thank you, rosborne, for quoting my all-time favorite naturalist Loren Eiseley. And that analogy of a spider's universe to our own is one of my all-time favorite Eiseley quotes.

My pleasure. Glad you liked it.

That thread I started on Loren Eiseley a few years ago has a few of my favorite passages of his. Maybe I'll add some more if I can find them.
0 Replies
 
void123
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 May, 2014 05:26 pm
@roger,
they have real sensitive hairs on there bodys and they feel themselves around..... i think
0 Replies
 
 

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