Caught In a Sticky Situation:The Orb-Weaving Spiderweb
Emily Gastelum and Taylor Stinchcomb
Biology 342 Fall 2011
What is Adaptive Value?
As animal behavior has progressed as a science, Tinbergen's survival value has been reconsidered adaptive value to encompass the theory of natural selection. Questions of adaptive value examine how behavior contributes to an animal’s lifetime reproductive fitness: the probability of the organism’s reproduction and offspring survival. It is important to note that adaptive value refers to the present state of a behavior’s adaption, the evolutionary process that has led to it and also its possible future effects on the species’ survival.
The Value of Decoration
There is a high variance in web decorations occurring across species and also within species at both the population and individual level. This phenomenon makes it very difficult to determine the adaptive value of the orb-web. However, several scientists have ventured to study the adaptive value of specific web characteristics that appear to have a strong influence on the success of the web as prey catching or predator defense mechanism. Here we will focus one idea that has been especially prevalent in orb-web studies that may highlight adaptive value despite the difficulties caused by variation.
An Eye-Catching Design: