Photo: Spider learns the zigzag stitch

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If all spiders were so crafty, maybe we'd end up with less nightmarish "spiderweb in the face" encounters.

Spiders from the genus Argiope have a special trick when it comes to crafting their webs – they add a distinctive zigzag (or crisscross) pattern, like the one shown here photographed by Andreas Kay in Ecuador. Scientists aren't exactly sure why the spiders do this, but they think that the reflective quality of the silk may serve to attract prey. As well, it may help to steer predators away. Either way, one thing is for sure – it would sure be nice if more spiders did this, as anyone who has walked face-first into an invisible web can agree.

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