European-Garden-Spider_Wiki_CCbySA_VincentdeGroot

Image by {a href=”http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Spider_vdg.jpg”}Vincent de Groot{/a}, CC-BY-SA

New research suggests that one reason spider webs are so effective at capturing prey, may be magnetism. Or, more precisely, that they respond to the electrostatic charge generated by flying insects. The authors of a new study found that the silk threads of webs made by the common orb weaver spider are quickly attracted to the electrified objects, essentially sucking them in!

Nature is full of examples, like this, of life leveraging low-energy processes and natural phenomena. Can you think of some others?  Continue reading for a few examples from AskNature:

  • Trees rely on the passive process of evapotranspiration to move water from their roots to their leaves.
  • The shape of black-tailed prairie dogs burrows create passive ventilation by leveraging air pressure gradients to pull stale air out of the burrow.
  • Many plants, such as the dandelion, harness the wind to disperse seeds.

Tap into nature anywhere: