How does a spiders spinnerets work?


How do they create silk? What causes it to come out as a line? How do they make webs so geometrically perfect? When dows the silk start to have drop off after coming out of the spinneret? If there’s only 2 spinnerets, how do these give it so much dexterity with its web building?

In: Biology

I do know that a single spider can have more than one kind of spinneret.. And that all spiderweb silk is actually liquid until it emerges from her body and hits the air!… one spinneret will spin the strands of the axes of say, an orb spiderweb, another kind spins the round parts that connect the rest; and one will be “sticky” (to catch the bugs) some smooth, (no sticky on it!) And another kind she’ll use to bundle up whatever it is she catches and rolls up for later in her web… And of course this this varies widely over the tens of thousands of species of them there are on earth. And she knows instinctively which ones to use, and when! And she knows not to walk on her own sticky-kind strands!

*How do they create silk?*

The specific engineering of it is not known at this time. We can observe the spider spinning the silk and we can observe their genetics but we don’t know exactly how in the hell they create such strong silk. It is many times stronger than silk from worms, to the point they are trying to (and by now might have succeeded in) splice spider DNA into silk worms to see if they can induce the worms to create spider silk.

*Scientists have long tried to understand the mechanisms that spiders use to make their silk, and have so far been unsuccessful in attempts to recreate the silk in laboratories. What makes the silk so difficult to artificially recreate is the make-up of its complex protein molecules and repetitive DNA sequences.*

Quote from live science. It is stronger than anything we have come up with and can stretch 140% of their original length before breaking. That is some other-worldly stuff right there, imagine building a rope with spider silk, or a net, or whatever. In some applications you could replace steel fibers with silk, making the thing both lighter and stronger. Spider silk is 5x stronger than a thread of steel the same size. The possibilities! And all we have to do is figure out a spider, and we haven’t gotten there yet.