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Leslie Brunetta and Catherine L. Craig

Spider Silk

In Spider Silk: Evolution and 400 Million Years of Spinning, Waiting, Snagging, and Mating Leslie Brunetta and Catherine L. Craig tell of the evolution of the large variety of spiders we see in the world today - there's far more than just the ones producing the familiar orb web. In particular the book the role that new types of spider silk has played in allowing this diversification.

The earliest spiders didn't build webs, rather they used silk to line their burrows, then adding lines to detect when prey came near. The coming of a new, stronger type of silk then allowed the building of webs, as well as other uses, such as the possibility of floating through the air. The book looks at the difference between horizontal webs, vertical webs and cobwebs, and has a chapter discussing the visibility of spiders webs - do they use camouflage or can insects actually be attracted towards their web?

The authors clearly intend this book to be accessible by the non-specialist reader, but I felt that they weren't particularly successful in this regard. There seemed to be a lot of long words - I had to constantly remind myself of the difference between mesotheles, mygalomorphs and araneomorphs. On the other hand, if you can live with that, then you are likely to find plenty to interest you in this book.

Amazon.com info
Hardcover 248 pages  
ISBN: 0300149220
Salesrank: 1029075
Weight:1.1 lbs
Published: 2010 Yale University Press
Marketplace:New from $146.61:Used from $7.11
Buy from Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 256 pages  
ISBN: 0300149220
Salesrank: 1804471
Weight:1.1 lbs
Published: 2010 Yale University Press
Marketplace:New from £586.99:Used from £12.31
Buy from Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.ca info
Hardcover 248 pages  
ISBN: 0300149220
Salesrank: 1357036
Weight:1.1 lbs
Published: 2010 Yale University Press
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 123.99:Used from CDN$ 19.12
Buy from Amazon.ca





Product Description

Spiders, objects of eternal human fascination, are found in many places: on the ground, in the air, and even under water. Leslie Brunetta and Catherine Craig have teamed up to produce a substantive yet entertaining book for anyone who has ever wondered, as a spider rappelled out of reach on a line of silk, “How do they do that?”

The orb web, that iconic wheel-shaped web most of us associate with spiders, contains at least four different silk proteins, each performing a different function and all meshing together to create a fly-catching machine that has amazed and inspired humans through the ages. Brunetta and Craig tell the intriguing story of how spiders evolved over 400 million years to add new silks and new uses for silk to their survival “toolkit” and, in the telling, take readers far beyond the orb. The authors describe the trials and triumphs of spiders as they use silk to negotiate an ever-changing environment, and they show how natural selection acts at the genetic level and as individuals struggle for survival.