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: One lane of the M40 southbound is still closed between junctions 10 and 9 after major crash last night

Oxford Mail:

9:59pm Monday 27th July 2015

ONE lane of the M40 southbound is still closed in north Oxfordshire this morning as police continue to investigate a serious collision.

Oxford residents are told council will go through their bin contents

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 28th July 2015

PEOPLE’S bins across Oxford could be rummaged through by council officers on the hunt for evidence to fine people for not recycling properly.

Could you pull over? I’ve just had our baby in the back seat

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 28th July 2015

AFTER rushing to hospital during the roadworks chaos, expectant mother Rebecca Pyrah joked with hospital staff that she would not have a roadside birth.

CPRE objects to solar farm citing ‘trivial’ energy making

Oxford Mail: Campaign to Protect Rural England to hold conference

9:00am Tuesday 28th July 2015

A CAMPAIGN group has objected to plans for a 28-acre solar farm on the outskirts of Oxford.

Now Botley Road has joined the city traffic jams

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 28th July 2015

DRIVERS faced severe delays in and out of the city centre last night as temporary traffic lights were installed on Botley Road.

Barclays bank vows to safeguard jobs of workers

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 28th July 2015

BARCLAYS bank has promised no staff will lose their jobs when it closes two South Oxfordshire branches in the next five months.


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