How To Weave A Tangled Web
Celebrated in children's songs and rhymes, the spider is one of the most loathed yet fascinating creatures on Earth. A member of the arthropod family, which is typified by jointed legs and a hard exoskeleton, real spiders are set apart by an organ on their underside knows as the spinneret. This is where they produce the sticky silk strands that are woven into webs for capturing prey.
The spinneret has multiple openings called spigots, through which liquid silk is pushed by muscles contracting, and the added pull that results from anchoring one end of a thread, and the spider's moving forward. The unique strength and elasticity of a spider's silk thread comes from the chains of molecules that shift and rearrange as the silk is drawn out, and the plaited molecules within the chains.
A spider typically sits in their web on what amounts to tiptoe, which helps them to avoid becoming stuck in their own trap, although scientists also suggest that they may apply a substance to their legs through grooming, that nullifies the adhesive effect.
Once made, the web becomes a method of communication for the spider, sending vibrations along the threads as an insect becomes trapped and telling the spider where to find it.