This silk from this spider (and other related species) is stronger than steel or Kevlar but has the flexibility to stretch up to 40% of its normal length without breaking.
Among other things, scientists are conducting experiments using the silk as a bio-scaffolding for tissue generation in laboratories that may one day help millions.
These fascinating creatures are also able to vary the color of the silk depending on the environment. They might alter the color to either capture the sun and attract prey or to produce a more camouflaged web and hope prey passes through.
The American Museum of Natural History recently exhibited a rare textile produced in Madagascar from the silk of a related species. It required over a million spiders and more than four years time to collect and milk the spiders.
Who can predict what other (more practical) uses scientists and industrialists will come up with? The jungle still has plenty to of mysteries to unravel and interesting things to discover.
While the researchers work on that, I’ll be happy just to relax on my balcony and enjoy the ocean and jungle views of Manuel Antonio. I’ll leave the spider milking to those more patient and dedicated.