Orb-weaving spiders use this kind of silk like Spider-Man, as a dragline on which to make ascents and descents.
‘When a fly hits the web, the sticky silk cushions the impact and traps the fly, but the stiff dragline silk absorbs the force and keeps the web intact,’ he said.
Known as a walking dragline and nicknamed Oddball, it was once capable of shifting 20,000 tons of opencast coal a day with its 215 ft jib and bucket that could scoop enough to fill two lorries.
The best characterised of these glands is the major ampullate gland that produces dragline silk - the type that the spider uses to abseil from walls and ceilings.
The Bucyrus Erie 1150RB walking dragline was last used 12 years ago and St Aidan's is its resting place.
Wolf spiders provide an interesting taxon to examine indirectly mediated predator-prey interactions because, in addition to excreta, they also leave a silk dragline behind them while moving through the environment.
The 1,200 ton beast is thought to be the only walking dragline in the world to be preserved and open to the public.
Of these, aggregate silk is an adhesive, and piriform silk is used to affix dragline silk to substrates.
Kevlar, the fiber found in bulletproof vests and bicycle helmets, has less energy-absorbing capability than does either dragline or capture silk.
If all else fails, they can spit oily secretions on their eight tarsi, or feet, step free, and make a Spiderman-like escape via a self-secreted dragline .