14 Smart Inventions Inspired by Nature: Biomimicry

By Amelia Hennighausen and Eric Roston - 2013-08-19T12:01:13Z

Photograph by Monica Murphy; Illustration by Arnold Glas

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Spider Web Glass

Certain spiders protect their delicately crafted insect nets with a special silk rope that reflects ultraviolet rays. Birds can see the ultraviolet rays and recognize the webs as obstacles they should avoid.

If engineers can reproduce the effect, it might save birds from their occasional accidental suicide runs into glassy buildings. German engineers at Arnold Glas copied the spiders and glazed their Ornilux-brand glass with a web-like pattern of ultraviolet-reflecting coating to save the birds from high-speed headaches.

A Dumb Question about biomimicry.

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