Let’s talk about spiders.
Now, before you cringe and turn away, we promise, we’ll be keeping creepy crawlies to a minimum and focusing on the spider’s most remarkable feature: their silk.
With strength that rivals steel and kevlar, spider silk is truly an incredible adaptation. And, if that wasn’t cool enough, you’ll never find a spider that makes just one type. Most every spider that skitters into your life will be able to produce at least three varieties of silk, but there are even species who can create up to seven! That’s some pretty advanced technology coming from such a small creature, and honestly, we humans are a bit jealous.
Lets explore this extraordinary corner of the natural world and meet some very, very old spiders (think 20 million years). Even if you aren’t a spider lover, we’re sure you’ll be leaving here today with a better appreciation of these magnificent little creatures.
Here’s PBS Digital Studio’s It’s Okay to be Smart to teach us more!
Beyond a better appreciation for the arachnid world, we were struck by how amazing the new innovations inspired by the properties of spider silk could be. Bullett proof material, remarkably flexible yet strong building tools, breakthroughs in medicine, all inspired by the humble spider!
To finish up today, we wanted to highlight some of these innovations, with a short video from DNews. Oh, and they also touch on that whole goat-spider silk thing!
We have so much to learn from the natural world!
Are there other remarkable innovations we are missing out on because we see the creatures that have developed remarkable adaptations as “creepy”, “gross”, or “weird”? What can we learn from the naked mole rat? How can snakes help us build better robots? Are we underestimating the skills of the rat?
There’s a lot to be learned from the species we share this planet with!
Stay beautiful & keep laughing!
Check out more cool creatures!
Our Animals Category is filled with wonders of the natural world, great and small, so go ahead and dive on in!
And while you’re here, make sure you don’t miss our upcoming articles by taking a minute to subscribe!
- “20 MILLION Year-Old Spider!! Unweaving Spider Silk 🕷.” YouTube. It’s Okay to Be Smart, 12 Dec. 2017. Web. 07 Mar. 2018. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQOxB_ylkvs>. ↩
- “Is Spider Silk The Next Bulletproof Material?” YouTube. Seeker, 12 June 2015. Web. 07 Mar. 2018. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBVA_i4R1VY>. ↩