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Why Don't Spiders Get Stuck in the Webs They Spin?

Spiders produce different kinds of silk for different purposes. A spider will use dragline silk, which is the strongest kind of silk, to make the spokes of the web and any part that is intended to bear the weight of the spider. This silk isn't sticky and the spider can safely move over it to different parts of the web. The spiral connections of the web are sticky and are intended to snare prey.

Spiders will only touch the web with the tips of their feet to minimize the chances of becoming stuck. They also spend time grooming their feet, and may secrete substances onto their feet that prevent sticking to the web.

More about spiders:

  • Many hunting spiders have specialized foot hairs that split into thousands of tiny extensions, giving them incredible gripping power. This enables them to stick on smooth surfaces like glass, or to walk across ceilings.

  • Webs lose their stickiness very quickly, so a spider will usually eat the old web and remake it every day.

  • Since spiders can only consume liquids they will inject their prey with a substance that liquefies it before they eat it.

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