World’s Largest Spider Web Can Catch 30 Insects at a Time

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Scientists discovered a new species of spider living in Madagascar who spun the world’s longest web ever recorded, spanning 25 meters.

Darwin’s bark spider, a species new to science also weaves the largest orb web from the most durable biomaterial yet known, according to scientists. The spider interlaced its enormous web over a vast flowing river, stretching from bank to bank. Scientists have estimated that the huge mesh caught over 30 prey insects hovering above the water, at any one time.

“The Darwin’s bark spider build their web with the orb suspended directly above a river or the water body of a lake, a habitat that no other spider can use,” says Professor Ingi Agnarsson, the director of the Museum of Zoology at the University of Puerto Rico, in San Juan who made the discovery with colleagues.

The silk produced from the web of the Darwin’s bark spider is understood to be 100% more resilient than any other known silk, making it the toughest biological material ever discovered, according the researchers. “The material is often used in bulletproof vests,” they said.

Scientists believe the web maze they discovered was not the work of one large Darwin’s bark spider. Rather, it was the group effort of millions of smaller ones who enthusiastically ended up covering a space the size of two football fields. (See pictures at the BBC.)