ELECTRON MICROSCOPE PHOTO
Image of a spider’s silk spigots
Yikes, this is AWESOME — a super close-up of a spider producing silk for a web!
From the website:
The main thing that distinguishes spiders from the rest of the animal kingdom is their ability to spin silk, an extremely strong fiber. A few insects produce similar material (silkworms, for example), but nothing comes close to the spinning capabilities of spiders. Most species build their entire lives around this unique ability.
Scientists don’t know exactly how spiders form silk, but they do have a basic idea of the spinning process. Spiders have special glands that secrete silk proteins (made up of chains of amino acids), which are dissolved in a water-based solution. The spider pushes the liquid solution through long ducts, leading to microscopic spigots on the spider’s spinnerets. Spiders typically have two or three spinneret pairs, located at the rear of the abdomen. More here
spinneret glands of a spider.
-_- “visuals unlimited”
so weird - I was about to blog the b/w version of this image!
Microscopic view of spider spinnerets. Great shot!