Crustaceans can weave silk

Miniature amphipod species Crassicorophium bonellii similarity produce spider silk to build himself a house. It was established by biologists from Oxford. The filaments obtained sticky and insoluble in salt water.

Creatures like shrimp special secret glands secrete through the channels on the legs. Each channel is divided into small canals, ending a cavity in which probably kept ready for weaving structure, says Professor Fritz Follrat (Fritz Vollrath) from the University of Oxford. Out of the cavities of the amphipod pull fiber. Biologists have found that silk is a mixture of biopolymers (glycosaminoglycans) and proteins glands amphipods.

The threads act as a kind of marine cement crustaceans fasten with it a grain of sand, pieces of vegetation, algae, and even their own excrement. Scientists have not yet studied the properties of fibers, but believe that they are as strong and flexible as spider silk. However, silk is amphipods and life is in the sea, and therefore to be expected that he would have discovered the special characteristics, quotes Professor Follrata BBC News.

In an article published in Naturwissenschaften, British biologists say that silk is likely to appear in the arsenal of land-based creatures (spiders, silkworms) regardless of marine inhabitants.

Scientists believe that the subsequent study of the properties of the "sea silk" may lead to special marine adhesives or coatings that would prevent barnacles secured on ships. Because of this settlement ships sosprotivlenie experience more and to spend more fuel to travel. "As a consequence, increases the cost of transport — are lost each year wasted over $ 400 million", — adds Professor Follrat.


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