How do spiders make strand of silk that floats in air horizontally between two distant points?
How are spiders able to make strand of silk that floats in air horizontally between two distant points?
A spider's silk is strong but very lightweight. A spider will let out a length of silk produced by its silk-producing glands called spinnerets. This line is hopefully picked up by a current of air. The spider, in a sense, reels in the silk until it feels a tautness which means it has attached to an opposite side. It will keep trying until it is successful. It will do the same to form a cross-pattern from which it can weave a complete web.
That is one way the newly hatched spiders spread out. They spin a length of silk and let the wind catch them and off they go.
An adult spider can do much the same. Spin the web and attach it and the float in the air to the distant point.
Known as "ballooning" this enables the genetic spread of spiders from one pocket or group to others. To ensure that genes are not limited to certain areas some spiders through evolutionary adaptation have taken advantage of certain winds and thermals to spread.
More of a hit or miss scenario whereby the spider spins a thin web in an upward direction taken by the wind the spider is ballooned to wherever "the wind takes it", the spun strand of web creates a large surface along its length which uses the wind to create lift greater than the weight of the spider. If you see where masses of spiders have "ballooned", there is usually a white sheet of web all over the area through failed attempts.
they follow the grid pattern taught to them by their mother.
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