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We studied the mechanical properties of dragline threads of the edible golden silk spider Nephila edulis that are produced under spinning speeds ranging from 0.1 to 400 mm s(-1) and temperatures ranging from 5 to 40 degrees C. These conditions affected the silk in all of the mechanical traits we tested (strain at breaking, breaking energy, initial Young's modulus and point of yielding). We argue that both trade-offs (between mechanical properties) and constraints (in the manufacturing process) have a large role in defining spider silk fibres.

Original publication

DOI

10.1098/rspb.2001.1590

Type

Journal article

Journal

Proc Biol Sci

Publication Date

22/11/2001

Volume

268

Pages

2339 - 2346

Keywords

Animals, Behavior, Animal, Female, Spiders, Temperature