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Lazy and snow tarantula

New study shows tarantulas get clumsy in the heat


Katie Jones
Digital Reporter

Saturday, April 4, 2015, 12:47 PM - Some spiders just can't take the heat, according to a new study.

As it turns out, high temperatures reduce the agility of tarantulas.

Though the large, furry spiders tend to be fast-moving, the heat actually causes them to get a little bit clumsy.

And it's not just coordinating eight spindly legs that makes getting around a complicated task.

Spiders rely on a fluid found in their blood called hemolymph to flex their muscles and move their limbs.

Researchers found that changes in temperature can affect the thickness and viscosity of hemolymph, thereby affecting the spider's movements.

After studying eight adult Texas brown tarantulas, they found that the spiders moved quickly, but had less control over their coordination in warmer temperatures.

Scientists described the arthropods' steps as "a little wonky."

Though the tarantulas moved slower in lower temperatures, they were more agile.

The instability brought on by warmth may be one reason why tarantulas typically emerge at dusk.

The Texas brown tarantula is one of the most common species of tarantula found throughout the southern United States.

There are over 900 different species of tarantula found all over the world, in places such as central and south America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.

Source: The Journal of Experimental Biology

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