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Posted by on Oct 17, 2015 in TellMeWhy |

How Does a Spider Make Its Silk?

How Does a Spider Make Its Silk?

Spiders make their own silk. They take the protein from the insects that they eat, break them down, and build them up into web proteins. Spider silk is stronger than any known natural or synthetic fiber. The silk that a spider uses to weave its web is produced by glands inside the spider’s body.

The silk comes out as thin liquid threads through little tubes called “spinnerets.” They harden their silk by acidifying it. As soon as a thread touches air, it hardens.

A spider makes two different kinds of silk to construct a web. It spins a dry silk to make the frame of the web, and a sticky silk to form the trap that catches and holds insects, which the spider eats.

The spider itself is protected by an oily covering on its body. This enables it to walk right across those sticky strands of web.

What is the strongest spider silk? However, researchers have now revealed the Darwin’s bark spider (Caerostris darwini) has the toughest silk ever seen — more than twice as tough as any previously described silk, and more than 10 times stronger than Kevlar.

Do spiders ever run out of silk? So, to get to your question, yes, it seems like Miss Spider could have been “running out of silk” if she hadn’t been able to replenish her stores!

Content for this question contributed by Ray Holoway, resident of Liberty Hill, Williamson County, Texas, USA