EYE OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EYE OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Spider silk on insect prey, coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). This silk is from a cribellate spider, which produces a complex, dry, but still sticky silk thread. Researchers have found that the individual nanofibres of the silk thread contained the same chemicals as the wax that insects use on their chitin armor to protect themselves from evaporation. When an insect makes contact with the net, the waxy chemicals of the chitin armor are thus absorbed by the wool-like nanofibres of the silk thread, trapping the insect. Magnification: x8000 when printed at 10 centimetres across.
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