Web Collaboration, of Sorts

No, not the World Wide Web--colonies of spiders that build giant communal webs to catch their prey. However, there is an interesting twist: spiders maximize their food supply per spider if the colony includes 500 spiders; more than that, and each spider gets less.

As the number of occupants grows, the volume of the webs they construct increases - but the surface-area-to-volume ratio declines. The area of web is the all-important determinant of numbers of prey caught, so bigger colonies catch proportionally fewer prey items.

Reminds me of Dunbar's Number, the theory that says that groups of larger than approximately 150 people are no longer optimal because humans cannot effectively have and maintain that many social relationships.

Spider Webs Article

Picture of Web Collaboration, of Sorts
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Plasmana9 years ago
Wow! That is a big old web!
The web in the picture look a bit like a waterfall...



I have a spider phobia! I thought the picture was of a waterfall!

Thanks for the nightmares!
Lol! Same thing happened to me! (But, I am not scared of spiders).
I thought it was a waterfall at first as well. Arachnophobia.
" Oh, Thank God!" "Don't mention it."
randofo9 years ago
I wonder what Dunbar has to say about your Facebook page.
joshf (author)  randofo9 years ago
I think he'd be very impressed; unfortunately, he wouldn't be able to see because I rejected his friend request.
n8man9 years ago
Is this in Texas because I heard about the web a few months ago
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