Did you know little Ms Muffet sat on her tuffet eating her curds and whey? Along came a great spider and sat down beside her and frightened Ms Muffet away. Sci-Fi writers, take note. Never before had a great spider jumped on Ms Muffet. It had only been a small spider, and it was friendly like the red one below.
Webs allow a spider to catch prey without having to expend energy by running it down. Thus it is an efficient method of gathering food. However, constructing the web is in itself an energetically costly process because of the large amount of protein required, in the form of silk. In addition, after a time the silk will lose its stickiness and thus become inefficient at capturing prey. It is common for spiders to eat their own web daily to recoup some of the energy used in spinning. The silk proteins are thus recycled.
The tensile strength of spider silk is greater than the same weight of steel and has much greater elasticity. Its microstructure is under investigation for potential applications in industry, including bullet-proof vests and artificial tendons. Researchers have used genetically modified mammals to produce the proteins needed to make this material.
What web are you caught up in lately?
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5aywHM9KMMJul 15, 2008 – 2 min – Uploaded by musicfactorymusic
http://www.kidsstuffandthings.com Little Miss Muffet Children’s Animation.