This spider combs its tiny silk threads to make them extra sticky

There’s a spider in Britain that’s a tad unusual. Instead of spinning “thick” silk threads (in this case, thick means several micrometers), the garden center spider can spin tiny nano-scale threads that are also extremely sticky. This is particularly useful when catching prey, but until recently researchers didn’t now how the spider managed to make such sticky silk. Now, researchers say they’ve figured it out: the garden center spider’s silk is sticky because the spider combs and pulls at the tiny threads to charge the fibers. In other words, this spider appears to have figured out how electrostatic interactions work.

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