See a video of a tarantula's heart beating

Illustration for article titled See a video of a tarantula's heart beating

Scientists recently did an MRI of a tarantula. They managed to capture a video of the beating heart of the spider. Apparently it's like no other heartbeat seen before.


Not all Magnetic Resonance Imaging scanners are meant for use on humans. At the Glasgow Experimental MRI center there are small tubes constructed for performing MRIs on rodents used in medical testing. When the researchers at the center either run out of rodents for the day or get bored, things get interesting. Recently, they put a tarantula in the tube they use to contain the rodents, and captured an image of its heartbeat.

They also found a surprise. Researcher Gavin Merrifield thinks they might have captured a type of heart contraction that no one has seen before.

"In the videos you can see the blood flowing through the heart and tantalisingly it looks as though there might be 'double beating' occurring, a distinct type of contraction which has never been considered before. This shows the extra value of using a non-invasive technique like MRI."

He will be presenting his findings at the Society for Experimental Biology Annual Conference in Glasgow.

See this strange double-beat in the short video.

Via Glasgow Experimental MRI Center.


Corpore Metal

You know, I'm getting soooooooo tiiiiiiiiiiiired of the "kill it with fire" meme.

Sure some spiders can kill people but that's only a tiny fraction of the whole order. Spiders are a much maligned and under-appreciated set of animals. Sure, they are the terminators of the arthropod world, but they are doing us a great service. If it wasn't for spiders, insects would bury the Earth. Think about that.