swimming tarantula

swimming tarantula - Swimming In Tarantulas Jason A. Dunlop...

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Swimming In Tarantulas Jason A. Dunlop University of Manchester, Manchester UK Tarantulas are not what instantly comes to mind when one thinks of arthropods that can swim. With that said, there have been a few reports (Hull-Williams 1986; Webb 1987; Reger 1994) and wildlife programs which show that tarantulas can, and do, swim in the wild and in captivity. These swims, however, are almost always the result of a spider being chased, or accidentally falling into a large body of water, and it might be expected that those most prone to such accidents are arboreal tarantulas living in trees overhanging lakes or rivers. It has been speculated that a limited swimming ability enabled some species to colonize island habitats (Hull-Williams 1986). Yet even burrowing tarantulas might find themselves flushed out by a flash flood or similar mishap immersing them in a watery peril. What interested me was how tarantulas cope with being in a large body of water, how their behavior changes, and how they actually swim. Swimming was investigated in a number of species coerced into a large tray of water, a few centimeters deep. The first observation was, perhaps unsurprisingly, that tarantulas do not take kindly to large bodies of water. They are clearly able to detect its presence and receptors on the legs called hygroreceptors, which are known to detect humidity, are probably involved. All the specimens actively tried to avoid the water and had to be nudged into the middle of the tray or floated out on a substrate which was then submerged.
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swimming tarantula - Swimming In Tarantulas Jason A. Dunlop...

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