1/4 oz. Fine Silver Coin – Animal Architects: Spider and Web (2014)

Second coin in the series of animal architects!
Because orb webs are so ubiquitous, it is easy to overlook how astounding they are. The basic scaffolding of an orb web is laid when the spider climbs a vertical surface, such as a tree, and drops a line of silk. This line is incredibly fine, yet is one of the strongest fibres on Earth. The silken thread floats on the wind until it catches on a second nearby vertical surface, such as a branch, to create a tightrope-like horizontal bridge line. The spider then drops another line from the midpoint of the bridge. From this basic frame, the spider strings a non-sticky border and, through a complex series of manoeuvres, creates radius lines—radii—that join the central line to the periphery of the web structure. The spider then weaves its “capture spiral”—a continuous double thread of a specific type of sticky silk that spirals from the outside of the web toward the central hub. At each junction with a radius line, the capture thread is reinforced with a special glue excreted by the spider. The central hub is a non-sticky region where the spider lurks in wait for its prey.
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