Friday, 3 April 2015

Tarantulas Have 2 Left Feet When It's Hot

by Laura Geggel, Staff Writer | April 01, 2015 06:00pm ET

The tarantula is a fast-moving spider, but it's not always a coordinated one, a new study finds. As the arachnid increases its speed, it also loses some of its coordination, becoming a "little wonky," researchers said.

Spiders have developed a unique way to move around: Rather than relying mainly on muscles to move, they use a fluid called hemolymph, which is their blood. When hemolymph flows into their tubelike legs, the limbs extend and their flexor muscles bend the legs at the joint, causing that fluid to flow back out.

Temperature can change the thickness, or viscosity, of hemolymph, said the study's senior author, Anna Ahn, an associate professor of biology at Harvey Mudd College in California. 

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