City spiders are smarter, says research
A recent research on spiders revealed that those living in the city are able to spin webs faster and also multiply more.
It is a general notion that city environments are not good for animals and most animal species don’t seem to adapt to the environments of cities. However, to the surprise of researchers, it was observed that the spiders living in cities are able to weave webs faster than in urban areas.
A sample of golden orb-weaving spiders were observed as part of the study by the University of Sydney which published the results. Elizabeth Lowe, lead author of the study and a PhD student in the University’s School of Biological Sciences said, “City-dwelling orb-weaving spiders grow larger and could produce more offspring than their country cousins our research shows.”
While the study which includes other animal species too, especially invertebrates, it is only the spiders which are capable of being smarter in city environments. The study says that not all species of animals are affected by urbanization.
Lowe added, “Our findings show the impact urbanisation can have on local wildlife. While many species do not survive encroaching urbanisation and the consequent loss of native habitat, others have a more complex relationship with man-made changes to the landscape.”
The study quantified the degree of urbanization in 20 sites and the spiders’ body size, fat reserves, and ovary weight were considered to make a report on the spiders’ capacity to weave webs and multiply faster than their urban counterparts.
Lowe noted in the study that two major reasons could be the temperature of the environment and prey availability for the differences between the spiders in different areas.
She said that if more prey is available, the spiders would become fat which means that they can’t move fast resulting in slow weaving of webs.