In the sticky jungles of South America, a mysterious spider crafts towers out of silk—confounding scientists with its intricate creations.
Comprising a silky spire surrounded by a circular picket fence, the structures are sometimes called “Silkhenges” because of their building material and the abiding mystery of their origin: Not only are the clever spiders still unidentified, no one has ever seen the arachnids actually make these works of art.
This of spiderlings hatching from one of the towers collected in Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park might provide some clues about these spiders’ secret lives.
“The video gives us more puzzle pieces to overall solving this thing,” says tropical biologist Phil Torres, who first observed the structures at the Tambopata Research Center in the Peruvian Amazon.
So far, scientists have spotted the silky structures in Peru, French Guiana, and Ecuador, though most have been seen near Tambopata. [Via: nationalgeographic.com]