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Webs of Gold: Meet the Golden Orb Spider

Last week we talked a bit about how animals will have different ways of protecting themselves from danger. One fascinating example of protection and camouflage is seen in the Golden Orb Spider and its web.

The spider spins webs that are multi-colored. Even more fascinating, the spider can adjust, or change the color of the web’s silk. This helps the web — and the spider — to blend into its environment. The spider will spend most of its days in the web. To warn off predators, the spider will vibrate, or make the web move. The “invisible” web also traps unsuspecting insects making it easier for the spider to find its food.

The golden orb’s webs are oval shaped and can measure as much as 20 feet tall and more than 6 feet wide! The webs are durable too and can last for months. In fact, the webs are so sturdy that scientists are studying them to see how the silk could be adapted for human use.

Golden Orb Spider Costa Rica
Here is a Golden Orb female Spider in Costa Rica. Notice the black and yellow markings on the legs and its back.

Where do you find golden orb spiders? The rainforests of Central America are a good place to look, as is Australia.

Look further:  BBC Nature

Rainforest Kids Science curriculum connection: Unit 2: Chapter 1, Lessons 1-4, Grades K-5; Unit 3: Chapter 1, Lessons 1-2, Grades K-5

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