Black Widow Contributions
The black widow has one of the strongest and most durable webs out of all spiders that live today. Within the past hundred years, scientists have manipulated black widow spider silk in order to create an assortment of utensils. One example is during World War II. During World War II, black widow spiders were, "spinning between 100 and 180 feet of thread a week (1). This thread was then used to make cross hairs in the gunsights of U.S. Army instruments of war." Another way black widow spider's silk has proved useful is through its principles, and scientists abilities to manipulate it. Because the spider's silk is mainly made up of protein, it is much safer for our environment. As a result of the manipulation by scientists, black widow spider silk has the potential to be used for both medical and military purposes, as well as for artificial ligaments, rope and fishing line, seat belts, and airbags. On an environmental level, the black widow spider is an important consumer of small insects such as mosquitos. The spider's existence is important because with their absence would be an increase in the population of mosquitos which might increase malaria levels. Black widow spiders also play an important role as prey in the food chain. Animals such as small birds rely on the black widow as a main source of food.