Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Did you know that not all spiders build webs to catch their prey, and some do not build webs at all? Designed to be used as traps, spiderwebs are of nature's most sophisticated devices and are built by spiders out of a special silk extruded from their spinnerets. Insects get trapped in spiderwebs and then eaten, providing nutrition to the spider. The tensile strength of spider silk is greater than the same weight of steel and has much greater elasticity. Spiderweb structure is constantly being researched for potential industrial applications. Two examples are bullet-proof vests and artificial tendons (Wikipedia).
Above: A spiderweb in our garden.
Photo by CultCase. High-res here.