Mar 26, 2008

Industrial Webs

K is back with her web-building freaks.

She was given special permission by the staff at the Lincoln Park Zoo to access and photograph their Madagascar Giant Silk Spiders.

Here's whas she has to say about these monsters:

These spiders, and their Costa Rican cousins, have the strongest silk in the arachnid kingdom- they are the ones being studied in labs around the globe in attempts to synthesize the silk in a human made product...Their webs can be bigger than SIX FEET WIDE, and are a complex maze of thick and thin strands strong enough to catch a bird. The Madagascar Silk spiders are the smaller of the two- only about 5 inches from the tip of a back leg to the tip of a front. The Costa Rican ones I documented being up to 8
inches from legtip to legtip!

Many more posts like this, and talk of 6-foot, industrial-strength webs, and I'll become a permanent gibbering mass in the corner of the room. I thought this blog would be cathartic, but I was so wrong.

The photos below are: 1) a set of the Madagascar spiders, and 2) the Costa Rican spider.

Thanks for the photo, K. My skin is crawling.


Jade said...

The Costa Rican variety are all over Florida orange groves in the south. I've seen them MANY times. I've even walked into a web or two. You aren't kidding about the strength. It's amazing! I didn't believe it was a web at first.

Simply an amazing creature. I can't wait to buy clothing made from synthesized spider silk. It's going to be so tough, and yet so thin! :)

Jade said...

Oh, I want to add something, also.

I went to a friend's wedding at Bok Tower (can't remember which part of Florida that's in at the moment) and these spiders were everywhere. If you think 6' webs are crazy, I've seen bigger. There were several that built webs spanning from the top of one palm tree to another. I don't know how they did it, but these webs were around 10-20' across!

Again, a super impressive arachnids and one of my favorites :)

Raging Wombat said...

You're killing me with this talk of uber-webs, Jade. If I ever end up in Florida, I'll be sure to call you down from the mid-west and hire you as my personal bodyguard.

Jade said...

I'm doing my best to avoid Florida, but for you, sure ;)