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Adhesive pads: from geckos to spiders
In terms of adhesive pads we find they have a remarkably wide distribution evolving in at least four distinct groups, including members of the reptiles, amphibians, arthropods and mammals, with tentative parallels in sea urchins.
All plants are harmless? Well, not quite - at least not when you're an insect...
Carnivorous fungi: a diet of worms (and other animals)
Fungi have learnt how to trap living prey, notably nematodes but also a range of other animals include rotifers, tardigrades and even springtails.
Ascomycete fungi: insights into convergence
Today ascomycetes are an extremely important group of fungi, and they take their name from the reproductive structures known as ascii.
Camera eyes in cubozoan jellyfish
On each of the four club-like extensions (rhopalia) near the base of the cubozoan jellyfish bell there are two camera-eyes, one pointing upwards and the other downwards.
Silk production and use in arthropods
Remarkably, fossil silk is known, especially from amber of Cretaceous age. Material includes both silk with trapped insects, possibly from an orb-web, and strands with the characteristic viscid droplets that are the key in trapping prey.
Mussel attachment and the Pinna byssus
It is clear that the Pinna byssus has unusual properties in comparison to its equivalent in the bivalve mussel, and is conspicuously different in terms of crystallinity.
Spitting in spiders and velvet worms
Scytodid spiders forcibly eject a mixture of saliva, silk and venom in a glutinous mass over a distance of c. 1cm to entrap prey.
Biological uses of silk: from webs to ballooning
What material is so versatile that it can be used for capturing prey, building nests, communication and even cleaning? The answer: that most remarkable of biomaterials - silk.