Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Charlotte's Web

Here's something I didn't know: Spiderwebs are webs that are currently occupied by a spider. Cobwebs are abandoned spiderwebs. Seriously, how is it that I've lived almost 34 years without knowing that? Public education has failed me once again.

Early in their evolution, spiders started out weaving webs in order to protect themselves and their eggs. Later, they discovered that it was a kick-ass way to catch some dinner. It's actually quite costly, energy-wise, to spin a web, so a lot of times spiders will end up ingesting some of their web to recycle the silk protien. Reduce, recycle, reuse.

Also, spiderwebs are rich in Vitamin K, which has blood-clotting properties. In fact, early European cultures would use cobwebs (unoccupied spiderwebs, remember?) as early medical guaze.

Spiderwebs have the relative strength of steel, with greater elasticity....but I could not find anything in my research indicating that a spider could weave the words "Some Pig" into the web. I guess biologists haven't located that species of spider yet:)

OK, so this necklace isn't made of regurgitated silk protein, nor can it be used as medical guaze, but I think it's pretty astounding in it's own right.

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