Spider Silk: Evolution and 400 Million Years of Spinning, Waiting, Snagging, and Mating

by Leslie Brunetta and Catherine L. Craig

Synopsis: Spiders, objects of eternal human fascination, are found in many places: on the ground, in the air, and even under water. Leslie Brunetta and Catherine Craig have teamed up to produce a substantive yet entertaining book for anyone who has ever wondered, as a spider rappelled out of reach on a line of silk, “How do they do that?”

The orb web, that iconic wheel-shaped web most of us associate with spiders, contains at least four different silk proteins, each performing a different function and all meshing together to create a fly-catching machine that has amazed and inspired humans through the ages. Brunetta and Craig tell the intriguing story of how spiders evolved over 400 million years to add new silks and new uses for silk to their survival “toolkit” and, in the telling, take readers far beyond the orb. The authors describe the trials and triumphs of spiders as they use silk to negotiate an ever-changing environment, and they show how natural selection acts at the genetic level and as individuals struggle for survival.

Published: June 2010 | ISBN: 9780300149227

Leslie’s Homepage: http://www.lesliebrunetta.com
Leslie’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/lesliebrunetta

Mini-bio: Catherine L Craig is an internationally recognised arachologist and authority on silk and its structure and evolution. She is the author of Spiderwebs and Silk. – CSIRO Publishing

The Independent Book Review
New York Journal of Books Book Review
Bug Gwen Book Review
Popular Science Book Review

[Image Credit: http://yalepress.yale.edu/BookJacket.asp?isbn=9780300149227 ]


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