Ask a Scientist: Web Wonders

Curious Tiger asks, “Why do spiders make webs?”


Good question, Curious Tiger! Spiders create webs out of silk for many reasons. The two main reasons are for catching food and protecting themselves. A spider’s web can serve as a net, catching insects that fly by. Once caught on the net, the spider can eat that flying insect. This way, the spider doesn’t have to chase after its food! Webs will also move when something larger than the spider moves near by. Based on the movement of their web, a spider can sense an enemy nearby and hide from it.

-Nicole


To learn more about spiders and their webs, check out this article for kids and this one for our older explorers! If you’re feeling crafty, try making this dangling spider web!

If you have any questions about animals for our scientists, you can submit them here.


Nicole W. Korzeniecki is a PhD student in the Animal Behavior Graduate Group at UC Davis. She is studying how termites work together with the bacteria in their gut to keep their colony healthy.

Main image [Source]: A spider in its web. Photo by Drazen Nesic.

[Edited by Nicole W. Korzeniecki]

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