12 January 2013

Harvesting Spider Silk ~ Fritz Vollrath's Threads!

The Guardian Observer spots Fritz Vollrath's Oxford Silk Group research on harvesting spider silk by reeling...
"...silk directly from the spider. At the start of this film a spider is pinned down after being sedated with carbon dioxide gas. The silk being pulled from the spinnerets consists mainly of major ampullate silk which forms the main structure of the web (like scaffolding) and minor ampullate silk, which is used to form the main spiral of the spider's web. The silk thread is pulled over on to the spool and attached with a dab of glue, and the motor is then run to start collection on to the spool. The species of this spider is Nephila edulis. It's possible to harvest between 30-80 metres of silk in one go, after which the spider can be released back to its web to feed ready for reeling another day."

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