Spiders and their Webs – Biology

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Fossil spider from the Cretaceous era

Fossil spider from the Cretaceous era

Spiders evolved from annelid worms beginning about 540 million years ago. They were among the first land creatures with more than one cell.

At about the same time, the first bigger land animals began to come out of the water: frogs and salamanders. These ate spiders.

The earliest evidence of an orb web, the round kind that is the most normal kind of spider web, comes from one that was preserved in amber about 110 million years ago, but spiders were probably making these webs as early as 135 million years ago.

An orb web

An orb web

That’s because flying insects like grasshoppers and bees were evolving at this time, and so the spiders evolved webs to catch them. At the same time, birds also evolved that could eat the bees and grasshoppers – and also eat spiders.

Arthropods (including spiders)

Bibliography and further reading:

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By |2017-09-16T18:40:57+00:00May 25th, 2017|Biology|0 Comments
Cite this page: Carr, K.E. Spiders and their Webs – Biology. Quatr.us Study Guides, May 25, 2017. Web. January 19, 2019.

About the Author:

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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