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Spider Webs – Behavior, Function, and Evolution - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Spider Webs: Behavior, Function, and Evolution

William Eberhard


Spider silk proteins almost all evolved from a single ancestral “spidroin” gene that later multiplied in diverse forms. The strongest spider silk combines extraordinary extensibility and toughness, and the viscoelastic nature of draglines allows a web to absorb sudden stresses from prey without breaking or allowing the prey to bounce off the web. Behavioral mechanisms (some as yet poorly understood) are described for the initiation and termination of lines, including conversion of silk from an aqueous liquid, how some lines are made adhesive, and how the spiders themselves nevertheless avoid a ... More

Keywords: webs, spiders, morphology, spider, diversity, silk proteins

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780226534602
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2021 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226534749.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

William Eberhard, author
Universidad de Costa Rica