, Volume 87, Issue 3, pp 148-153

Mechanics and Morphology of Silk Drawn from Anesthetized Spiders

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Abstract

 CO2 and N2 anesthetized Nephila spiders produced dragline silk with mechanical properties that differed from control silk as a function of time under anesthesia. Silk from CO2 spiders had a significantly lower breaking strain and breaking energy, significantly higher initial modulus, and marginally lower breaking stress. At the onset of anesthesia the silk diameter became highly variable. During deep anesthesia silk either became thinner or retained cross-section but fibrillated.

Received: 26 August 1999 / Accepted in revised form: 22 December 1999