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.


Expect a rocky road ahead before new Westgate Centre opens its doors

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Wednesday 25th November 2015

TRADE in Oxford is dwindling with businesses blaming the fall in shoppers on roadworks and high parking charges.

More culture vultures flock to county to soak up our heritage

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Wednesday 25th November 2015

OXFORDSHIRE’S picturesque countryside, rich history and thriving city centre proved to be a stronger magnet for tourists again last year.

‘Barbaric’ cuts under fire from top author Philip Pullman

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 25th November 2015

BESTSELLING author Philip Pullman has described as “barbarism” proposed cuts to the arts an East Oxford theatre says could hit vulnerable young people.

Call to fund a national memorial for our Ox & Bucks D-Day heroes

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Wednesday 25th November 2015

A NATIONAL memorial to the heroic D-Day raid by the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry has been approved and the hunt for £50,000 to pay for it has begun.

Common People festival chief promises a ‘strong local flavour’ of musical talent

Oxford Mail:

6:10am Wednesday 25th November 2015

A FORMER Cheney School pupil and now organiser of a major music festival planned for South Park next year has promised there will be a “strong local flavour” to the event.

Look who's doing two big concerts in Oxfordshire next summer

Oxford Mail:

11:48am Tuesday 24th November 2015

Two of Elton John's five UK 2016 concert dates will be in Oxfordshire, the star reveals today


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