Spider silk, spider web
While the density of spider silk is less than that of nylon filaments, its tensile strength is greater than that of steel.
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Darwin's bark spider
- max. 20 mm (0.8 in)
The strongest known spider silk is spun by Darwin's bark spider.
Its orb webs can spread out almost three square meters with anchor lines spanning up to 25 meters (65.6 ft).
Spiders use the silk for various purposes. They produce silk to make webs for hunting, wrap their prey and protect their offspring.
The opisthosoma of the spider contains silk glands that produce silk with different properties for different purposes.
The outer layer of spider silk, the skin, encloses the core. The core contains silk fibrils, certain sections of which form ß-sheet structures.
The key to the high tensile strength of spider silk is that the ß-sheets are very resistant but not elastic. The fibrils between the sheets are ductile, thus giving the silk its flexibility. Spider silk can be stretched up to 3 times its original length but regain its original length afterwards. Its tensile strength is five times greater than that of steel, while its density is less than that of nylon filaments. Due to these special properties, various studies have been carried out to create artificial spider silk.
Fibroin is a fibrillar protein excreted by silkworms.
One of the best known species of spiders, often kept as pets. Its bite is not fatal for humans.
Polypeptide chains are composed of amino acids and can appear in alpha-helix or beta-sheet form.
This animation demonstrates the anatomy of spiders through the example of a common European species.
The structure and arrangement of polypeptide chains affects the spatial structure of proteins.
A non-polar amino acid. L and D molecules are mirror images of each other.
The poisonous bite of the Chilean recluse spider poses a serious threat to human health.
The cockchafer (or maybug) is a widespread bug in Europe. Its larvae, known as chafer grubs are considered a pest.
The simplest amino acid.
The large white butterfly is a common species of butterflies, through which we demonstrate the anatomy of butterflies.
Larvae of this type of mayflies spend the first three years of their lives in water, their adult lives last for only one day which they use for mating.
With the example of the stag beetle we demonstrate how insects' muscles function, how insects fly and how they reproduce.
A type of large freshwater crayfish widespread in Europe.
A species of mollusk widespread in freshwaters.
Jellyfish are free-swimming marine animals, a species of Cnidaria, the most ancient group of Eumetazoans.
A widespread snail species, also popular as food.