The results of our experiment testing whether or not a relationship exists between the body weight and the average web thickness of a spider indicated a negative correlation, but likely were unreflective of reality. We hypothesized that spider body weight would be positively correlated with web thickness, speculating that a heavier spider would need a thicker web to support its weight. Before we began our experiment, we found another study that investigated this same subject and found that there was no correlation. We wanted to see if our results would be the same, or if they would be different. We photographed 3 spider webs under a microscope, and for each spider we measured and averaged 10 different threads of its web, then compared them to its body weight. The spider with the lowest weight (Spider 1) had the highest average web thickness, whereas the spider with the highest weight (Spider 3) had the lowest average web thickness. Both measurements of weight and average web thickness of Spider 2 were in between Spiders 1 and 3. However, our results are unlikely to be representative of reality for two main reasons. First, our sample size was very small since only 3 of the spiders we selected for our study produced webs in the experiment time. A small sample size leaves the differences between the measurements up to chance. Second, there was a high standard deviation within each spiders ten individual web strand width measurements; they varied greatly from the “average.” Thus, the average, which was used to identify the trend of negative correlation, is unreflective of the full data scope and thus not a meaningful measurement when plotted against spider body weight. To further this point, one can see in our graph that Spider 2 had a web width average that was in between the averages of spiders 1 and 3. However, looking at all of the individual web strand measurements of Spider 2 that went into the average, one of it’s values is the highest value of all 3 spiders, and another one of it’s values is the lowest of all 3 spiders. It is the spider with the most moderate weight, but it has the largest range of web widths. Since the measurements based on Spider 3 are from the same spider, they are all have the same weight, yet their width varies so largely, so it must be highly influenced by some other factor external to weight. In conclusion after reanalyzing the data, it is unlikely that spider weight has an effect of spider web thickness.
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