How can spiders locate their prey?
A study published today by Dr. Beth Mortimer and colleagues at the Department of Zoology and University Carlos III of Madrid reveals that orb weaving spiders can compare 3-D vibrational inputs into their 8 legs from the web to locate prey.
Using computer models of orb webs, the researchers investigated whether web vibration contains information on the location of a vibration source for spiders that directly and remotely monitor web vibration.
They found that comparisons of 3-D vibration magnitude across eight legs (direct monitoring) allowed them to determine vibration source distance and direction, which was not possible with a remote monitoring strategy.
The researchers concluded that specific web features which are under the control of spiders that promote the transfer of localization information.