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Diagram of various silks spiders can make
Structural engineering of an orb-spider's web

Structural engineering of an orb-spider's web

The planar orb web of the garden cross spider Araneus diadematus has evolved with the prime function of capturing fast-moving and, on a relative scale, massive insects. Experimental analysis coupled with DYNA3D modelling demonstrates the structural engineering of a complete web, which makes excellent use of the non-linear, time-dependent stress–strain characteristics of the two chief types of web silk. Importantly, the simulations and experiments show that aerodynamic damping plays a crucial role in web function and prey capture.

Letters to Nature abstract




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