|Are spiders and their webs living? If yes, why?|
|Question Date: 2018-05-18|
The definition of life is an organism that is
capable of reproduction. Spiders are
alive because they can produce offspring. A
web is something the spider secretes, and so it is
not alive because it can't reproduce itself.
Biologists have a hard time deciding if viruses
are alive, for example, because viruses have to
infect a host organism in order to reproduce -
therefore, they don't neatly fit into our
definition of life because they don't appear to be
alive or inanimate objects!
Spiders are living creatures, but their webs
are not. The way biologists define life
relies on whether the life form can reproduce
itself if left on its own.
For instance, a single bacterial cell can
divide into two identical cells that have the same
parts as the original cell, and can reach the same
size as the original cell. Therefore, bacterial
cells are living things. Along the same line
of logic, rocks are not alive because a rock
cannot produce other rocks that are identical to
it - it can only give chips of itself. Spiders can
mate with other spiders and produce more spiders,
while webs themselves cannot make more webs, so
spiders are alive but their webs are not.
Spiders are living, but their webs are not.
This is because a spider is an animal that
contains living tissue, while its web is a
string of protein filaments that attach
Spiders are living and quite advanced
organisms. They metabolize food (other insects),
respond to their environment, and reproduce. All
of these things indicate that they are living.
Spider webs are not living. Spider webs
are made up of a protein molecule that the spider
makes and then secretes called spider silk
Click Here to return to the search form.
Copyright © 2020 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.