How do spiders produce silk?

Answer:

Spider silk is manufactured within glands inside the spider’s abdomen. Amazingly, a wide variety of silk is made, each type having its own particular use. Strong, elastic silk is used to build the foundation of a web. Sticky threads are produced to trap prey. Soft, fluffy silk cushions the eggs while a tough, papery silk envelopes the exterior of the egg sac. Each kind of silk is extruded in liquid form through tiny “nozzles” collectively located in organs called “spinnerets.” These are conical or finger-like appendages visible at the back side of the spider’s abdomen. Most spiders have at least two pairs of spinnerets, with each spinneret containing many, many silk-producing “spigots.” As the spider brushes the liquid silk from the spinnerets, the silk proteins are oriented in a fashion that renders them a solid fiber. Many web-building spiders have special “combs” on their legs that help them spin out the silk strands.

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