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.

 

Oxford vigil in support of Gaza scholar

Oxford Mail:

5:40pm Tuesday 22nd July 2014

A vigil has now started for an Oxford Brookes Gaza Scholar in intensive care after losing five members of his family in an Israeli bombardment.

50 glorious years of a fine village institution

Oxford Mail:

5:00pm Tuesday 22nd July 2014

IN 1965, when the Beatles released their album Help!, residents in Towersey realised their village hall was in desperate need of repair.

Listen: Fiaz Munshi guilty of manslaughter over Magdalen Road arson as police apologise for blunder + Audio

Oxford Mail:

2:52pm Tuesday 22nd July 2014

FIAZ MUNSHI has been found guilty of manslaughter and not guilty of murder over the deaths of two children in an arson attack in East Oxford in 1997.

She was loved by so many: huge turn-out for the funeral of Liberty Baker

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 22nd July 2014

MORE than 300 friends and relatives turned out yesterday to pay their final respects to Witney schoolgirl Liberty Baker.

Exhibition unravels the story of boy king’s tomb

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 22nd July 2014

HIDDEN under the sand for centuries, this little statue will come face-to-face with thousands of visitors in Oxford.

Community association given stay of execution

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 22nd July 2014

A COMMUNITY group was celebrating yesterday after being told it could stay at its base for the immediate future.

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