A team from the University of Melbourne’s Department of Zoology, found that orb weaving spiders respond to severe damage to their webs by building bigger silk crosses, but if the damage is mild then they don’t bother improving them. Professor Mark Elgar said web damage is costly for spiders because a lot of nutritional resources are required to rebuild a web. A team left a bunch of orb-weaving spiders in a lab to build there webs, when they were done some were badly damaged and some were mildly damaged, and the rest were left alone. The spiders increased their activity on the severely damaged ones but left the lightly damaged ones alone. On the light damaged ones building of silk crosses serves to make the webs more visible for other animals that might fly or walk into them.
17 days old 188 day old spider
The reason web building skills are lost as the spider grows older is because of degeneration of there central nervous system. A team from the University of France, says “our next step will be to understand wether age-induced changes in the central nervous system are behind the deffrences in behavior we have found.”
Spiders today weave there webs differently than there long extinct ancestors. Modern spiders make there webs with modified appendages called spinnerets. The extinct spiders weaved there webs from spigots on plates attached to the underside of their bodies, unlike spiders today they had long tails.