THIERRY BERROD, MONA LISA PRODUCTION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY THIERRY BERROD, MONA LISA PRODUCTION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Spider and moulted exoskeletons. Coloured environmental scanning electron micrograph (ESEM) of a Theridion spider (upper left) and several moulted exoskeletons (right). The spider's eyes, legs and mouthparts are also seen. Moulting takes place several times during a spider's lifetime, but most often when it is young and growing. To shed the old exoskeleton, the spider swells and flexes its muscles to split it, and then crawls forward and pulls its legs out of the old exoskeleton.
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