Scans capture spider's heart beat

Jul 07, 2011

Intricate scans of tarantulas reveal for the first time in detail how their hearts beat.

The MRI scans, which show blood flowing in and out of a spider’s heart, suggest the way in which a spider’s heart functions is much more complex than previously thought.

Insight from images

University scientists used the scans to look at heart rate and blood volume, enabling a better insight into the workings of a spider’s heart.

The images will help give greater insight into the unique evolution of .

The latest scans could also help inform wider research that might explain how spiders differ genetically from other species.

Evolution

They will help in understanding how the species evolved differently from other animals.

Unlike most other invertebrates, spiders - like humans - have more centralised organs such as the heart and the brain.

Further research

Researchers are now looking at using the same scanning techniques to better understand how spiders’ brains work.

The team aim to track the expression of chemicals in the brain as the spiders react to different environmental conditions, giving insight into a spider’s intelligence.

The research, carried out in collaboration with the University of Glasgow, was presented at the annual Society for Experimental Biology conference.

"These specialized have given us in-depth images to provide a much better insight into how a spider’s works. Further scans will help us gain new evolutionary information and identify not only the similarities that we share with spiders, but also how and when they acquired them independent of ourselves," said Gavin Merrifield, Department of Medical Physics.

Explore further: Dutch barnacle geese have more active immune system than same species in the North

Provided by University of Edinburgh

4.5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Male black widows look for well-fed mates

Jul 07, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- According to a new study published in Animal Behaviour, a male black widow spider is able to identify a female spider that has eaten well by simply taking a few steps on the web she spins. ...

Spider's double beating heart revealed by MRI

Jul 01, 2011

Researchers have used a specialised Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner on tarantulas for the first time, giving unprecedented videos of a tarantula's heart beating.

Mosquitoes supply spider with blood

Oct 11, 2005

Scientists in Sydney, Australia, say they've determined an East African species of jumping spider prefers to prey on blood-engorged female mosquitoes. And that, the Macquarie University researchers said, demonstrates a rare ...

Male wolf spiders cannibalize females

Apr 13, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- While most people are familiar with the fact that many species of female spiders eat their male counterparts, new research findings published in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society show h ...

Recommended for you

Study shows starving mantis females attract more males

6 hours ago

A study done by Katherine Barry an evolutionary biologist with Macquarie University in Australia has led to the discovery that a certain species of female mantis attracts more males when starving, then do ...

African swine fever threatens Europe

8 hours ago

African swine fever, or ASF, is a viral disease that kills almost every pig it infects and is likened to Ebola. It gained a foothold in Georgia in 2007, when contaminated pig meat landed from a ship from ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.