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Still Waters

The secrets of Aussie spider's unique silk

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Still Waters

An international collaboration has provided the first insights into a new type of silk produced by the very unusual Australian basket-web spider, which uses it to build a lobster pot web that protects its eggs and trap prey.

The basket-web spider weaves a silk that is uniquely rigid and so robust that the basket-web doesn't need help from surrounding vegetation to maintain its structure.

"As far as we know, no other spider builds a web like this," said Professor Mark Elgar from the School of BioSciences at the University of Melbourne.

"This silk retains its rigidity, allowing a rather exquisite silken basket or deadly ant trap."

https://phys.org/news/2020-10-secrets-aussie-spider-unique-silk.html

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-74469-z

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