Mammals move their limbs by stretching and cutting their muscles. In contrast, spiders move their limbs by hydraulic pressure. More specifically, they have a special camera adjacent to their head that sends blood to their legs when the limb is reduced. When the pressure falls, the legs return to their original position.
Professor Daniel Preston and P.D. Faye Yap of Texas University Rice decided to find out if they could manually cause such movements in dead wolf spiders.
The process begins with the euthanasia of the spider, after which a needle is inserted into its sonic chamber. Then a drop of glue is added to the site of the introduction so that the needle stays in place.
The syringe attached to this needle is used to supply a small amount of air to the chamber, and as a result the legs begin to move.
During the tests, spiders were able to lift more than 130% of their own body weight.
According to researchers, one spider lasts about 1,000 cycles before the tissue decomposes. It is likely that the addition of polymeric coating may increase the life expectancy.