Researchers reveal silky secrets of plucky spiders

8:00am Saturday 7th June 2014

SPIDERS pluck the silk strings of their webs like guitars, Oxford scientists have found.

Researchers at the University of Oxford were involved in the project which found, when plucked, spider silk sends out sounds which carry information about prey, mates and even the strength of the web.

Beth Mortimer, of the Oxford Silk Group at Oxford University, said: “Most spiders have poor eyesight and rely almost exclusively on the vibration of the silk in their web for sensory information. The sound of silk can tell them what type of meal is entangled in their net and about the intentions and quality of a prospective mate. By plucking the silk like a guitar string and listening to the “echoes” the spider can also assess the condition of its web.”

The discovery was made when the researchers fired bullets and lasers at webs to study how the silk vibrates.

 

UPDATE: Tributes paid to Ann Ducker, leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, who has died

Oxford Mail: South Oxfordshire District Council leader Ann Ducker

10:21am Monday 22nd September 2014

Ann Ducker, leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, has died.

Corn Exchange's future debated

Oxford Mail: The Corn Exchange

9:10am Monday 22nd September 2014

The future use of the Corn Exchange will be discussed at a meeting tonight.

Minibus in accident near Littlemore

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9:10am Monday 22nd September 2014

A minibus carrying a group of youngsters was involved in a crash with a car on the A4142 Eastern Bypass. Three adults, 10 teenagers and a child were involved in the crash.

Electricity line drama after fire wrecks shed in Yarnton

Oxford Mail: oxfordshire fire and rescue logo

9:10am Monday 22nd September 2014

Electricity cables collapsed after a blaze in a large garden shed in Yarnton on Sunday.

Attacks prompt appeals for more police on the streets

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Monday 22nd September 2014

TWO men were last night in police custody after two women were raped in Oxford.

Shoppers jump in to stop would-be shoplifter

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

8:30am Monday 22nd September 2014

SHOPPERS stopped a would-be thief from escaping from a Wallingford supermarket without paying for a trolley full of goods.

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