WEFOUNDWeb Of Mystery #18: Strange Tales Of The Macabre -- All Stories - No Ads


The spiders in Andrew Gordus' laboratory at Johns Hopkins University spin their webs in the dark under tight surveillance. Every movement of every one of their eight legs, every step through the two hours or so that it takes to create their circular web, is recorded under infrared light.

An assistant professor in the Department of Biology , Gordus is tracking this little spider in hopes of unlocking secrets of behavior: How is it shaped by genetics? How is it a response to surroundings? Gordus said the project could eventually shed light on higher animals, but for now, it's necessary to start small with a creature with a tiny brain and a relatively small genetic profile that performs one behavior over and over: web building.

The web is the tangible result of actions carried out over a relatively long stretch of time, and it stands apart among typical animal construction projects. Animals that build shelters tend to either displace an existing material in making burrows or gather material around themselves to build nests.

The spiders in Andrew Gordus' laboratory at Johns Hopkins University spin their webs in the dark under tight surveillance. Every movement of every one of their eight legs, every step through the two hours or so that it takes to create their circular web, is recorded under infrared light.

An assistant professor in the Department of Biology , Gordus is tracking this little spider in hopes of unlocking secrets of behavior: How is it shaped by genetics? How is it a response to surroundings? Gordus said the project could eventually shed light on higher animals, but for now, it's necessary to start small with a creature with a tiny brain and a relatively small genetic profile that performs one behavior over and over: web building.

The web is the tangible result of actions carried out over a relatively long stretch of time, and it stands apart among typical animal construction projects. Animals that build shelters tend to either displace an existing material in making burrows or gather material around themselves to build nests.

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