Master Weavers

Ancient spider silk discovered in Lebanon resembles that of modern-day arachnids

12-01-2003 // Laura Tangley

Dissecting an ancient piece of amber from Lebanon, a Swiss scientist has discovered a fragment of spider silk estimated to be 130 million years old, the oldest ever found. In the journal Nature, he reports that the size and arrangement of sticky glue drops in the strand are remarkably similar to those in the silk spun by today's comb-footed and orb-weaving spiders--species that apparently heed the old adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

National Wildlife Magazine
     Flickr Icon           Find NWF on Facebook.           Follow NWF on Twitter.           YouTube Icon