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Scientists say a 305 million-year-old fossil is the closest relative to "true spiders" ever discovered - but is not itself a spider. Easily pre-dating the dinosaurs, the 1.5cm creature lived alongside the oldest known ancestors of modern spiders but its lineage is now extinct.
 evolution fossil spider
Male jumping spiders (Phintella vittata) are using ultraviolet B (UVB) rays to communicate with females.


 communication spider sex
Spider webs encased in amber which were discovered on an East Sussex beach have been confirmed by scientists as being the world's oldest on record. The amber, which was found in Bexhill by fossil hunter Jamie Hiscocks and his brother Jonathan, dates back 140 million years to the Cretaceous period.


 spider web amber Cretaceous
The new study has shown how spider silk captures water from the air and gathers it into jewel-like droplets.


 spider silk net nanotechnology water drop
A study has shown how two species from different taxonomic kingdoms - animal and plant - compete for the same food. When food was scarce, the team found that the spiders built larger webs to improve their chances of catching prey, but at the expense of the plants.


 plant animal spider food competition
It is like something out of a horror movie: baby spiders devour their own mother, then climb aboard her web, and make it throb in a series of pulsating vibrations.


 cannibal spider mother suicide vibration signal
A group of Spanish researchers says evolution favours small, light males because they can more easily traverse thin strands of silk.


 spider cobweb web silk weight mating gender size bridge
The delicate web decorations spun by some orb-weaving spiders are a strange but well-known phenomena, but exactly why the spiders adorn their webs is unclear.


 spider web decoration animal intelligence weaving