How do spiders make webs?

Spider silk may seem fragile, but it is made of strong and stretchy protein which is stored in the spider’s abdomen as liquid. This protein quickly forms solid fibres in the silk duct of the spider, and these fibres are stronger than steel. A spider can produce a metre of silk in less than a second, and scientists are still baffled by exactly how they do it.

A true spider has two body sections, the cephalothorax and the abdomen. The legs are attached to the cephalothorax and the silk is produced and stored in the abdomen. The silk-spinning organ is called the spinneret and most spiders have six of these to create silk with multiple strands for different uses.

Spiders choose where to spin their webs carefully because it takes a lot of time and energy to construct that beautiful web pattern. First, the spider creates a frame, and then moves in a spiral to create the wide net effect. The wider the web, the bigger the chance of catching some prey, so some spiders spin webs over three metres wide!

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Image from www.flickr.com/photos/chillmimi/8432407812