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Silken Threads or Spider Webs
- All spiders have silk glands, but not all use silk in spinning webs.
- Liquid Silk is drawn and stretched from the spinnerets, located at the rear of the abdomen, the liquid solidifies into tiny strands that are strong and elastic.
- Spider silk is stronger than a thread of steel of the same weight.
- Spiders use silk for building webs, capturing prey, sperm transfer, lining hibernating, molting or living chambers and constructing egg cases, for draglines and mating bowers.
- The majority of spiderlings use silk for wind-borne travel.
All spiders make silk even if they don’t build webs. Spiders rely
on their drag-lines, a strong double strand of silk that is let out as
the spider moves. The dragline is glued down at different spots so that
it is always anchored. That way a spider can quickly drop down the line
if danger approaches. They also use this dragline to find their way back
Young spiders use silk to travel to new homes. After emerging from the
egg sac (also made of silk), the spiderling walks up to the top of a grass
stalk or leaf and releases a few silken lines which are then pulled out
by the wind. Since the spiderling doesn’t weigh much, these silken
strands provide enough lift to carry it away. Spiders traveling on the
wind are said to be ballooning.
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