Master Weavers

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

  • Laura Tangley
  • Dec 01, 2003
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."

Get Involved

Where We Work

More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

Learn More
Regional Centers and Affiliates