Magazine 3/2012

The Incisive Design of the Spider Claw

Flies and other insect prey can do little to counter the bite of a spider – even though their armor consists mainly of chitin and proteins, just like the venomous fangs of the predator. However, the exact chemical make-up and microstructure of the venomous fangs have been optimized to be able to penetrate the armor of the prey. A research team headed by Yael Politi and Peter Fratzl from the MPICI in Potsdam discovered this while researching the wandering spider Cupiennius salei.

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