Spiders have been used by scientists as a simple model to shed light on the complexities of how aging can affect behaviour in other organisms, including humans.
Young house spiders weave webs with perfect angles and regular patterns, but as they reach old age their webs deteriorate, showing gaping holes and erratic weaving.
AdvertisementThe reason web building skills are lost as spiders grow older may be due to degeneration of the central nervous system.
"Our next steps will be to understand whether age-induced changes in the central nervous system are behind the differences in behaviour we have found," said PhD researcher, Mylene Anotaux, from Nancy University in France.
"Because of the importance of understanding the underlying behavioural mechanisms of ageing in humans, investigating simple animal models that assess ageing mechanisms is essential," added Anotaux.
A common European house spider Zygiella x-notata, who has short life span (around 12 months) and simple nervous system, was used for the research.
The research is being presented at the Society for Experimental Biology Annual Conference in Glasgow.