Uncovering changes in spider orb-web topology owing to aerodynamic effects

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dc.contributor.author Zaera Polo, Ramón Eulalio
dc.contributor.author Soler Trujillo, Alejandro Mahy
dc.contributor.author Teus Fernández, Jaime
dc.date.accessioned 2014-09-04T11:02:41Z
dc.date.available 2015-09-06T22:00:04Z
dc.date.issued 2014-09
dc.identifier.bibliographicCitation J. R. Soc. Interface, (2014), 11 (98), 10 p.
dc.identifier.issn 1742-5689
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10016/19287
dc.description.abstract An orb-weaving spider's likelihood of survival is influenced by its ability to retain prey with minimum damage to its web and at the lowest manufacturing cost. This set of requirements has forced the spider silk to evolve towards extreme strength and ductility to a degree that is rare among materials. Previous studies reveal that the performance of the web upon impact may not be based on the mechanical properties of silk alone, aerodynamic drag could play a role in the dissipation of the prey's energy. Here, we present a thorough analysis of the effect of the aerodynamic drag on wind load and prey impact. The hypothesis considered by previous authors for the evaluation of the drag force per unit length of thread has been revisited according to well-established principles of fluid mechanics, highlighting the functional dependence on thread diameter that was formerly ignored. Theoretical analysis and finite-element simulations permitted us to identify air drag as a relevant factor in reducing deterioration of the orb web, and to reveal how the spider can take greater-and not negligible- advantage of drag dissipation. The study shows the beneficial air drag effects of building smaller and less dense webs under wind load, and larger and denser webs under prey impact loads. In essence, it points out why the aerodynamics need to be considered as an additional driving force in the evolution of silk threads and orb webs.
dc.format.extent 10
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher The Royal Society
dc.rights © 2014 The Royal Society
dc.subject.other Orb web
dc.subject.other Aerodynamic drag
dc.subject.other Wind
dc.subject.other Impact
dc.title Uncovering changes in spider orb-web topology owing to aerodynamic effects
dc.type article
dc.relation.publisherversion http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2014.0484
dc.subject.eciencia Ingeniería Industrial
dc.subject.eciencia Ingeniería Mecánica
dc.identifier.doi 10.1098/rsif.2014.0484
dc.rights.accessRights openAccess
dc.type.version acceptedVersion
dc.identifier.publicationfirstpage 1
dc.identifier.publicationissue 98
dc.identifier.publicationlastpage 10
dc.identifier.publicationtitle Journal of the Royal Society Interface
dc.identifier.publicationvolume 11
dc.identifier.uxxi AR/0000015370
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