Writing Prompt: Spiders And Hydraulic Locomotion

I think spiders have a mechanical grace to the way they move. Some think the way spiders move is cool while the rest of us have ghost sensations of spiders crawling on us that creeps us out when we haven’t had enough sleep. Apparently that weird mechanical look to a spider’s motion is due to the fact they are one of the few arthropods that use hydraulic pressure instead of muscle power to extend their legs. Cool, huh? This means that when a spider’s cephalothorax is punctured she can’t extend her legs anymore (which is why spiders curl up when they die). Where did I learn this? On Wikipedia of course. (Check out the article here and read the section on locomotion if you’re interested in learning more).

(This isn’t my picture. I stole it from here.)

Writing Prompt: Spiders and Hydraulic Locomotion

If you have a scene where one of your characters has to fight off a giant spider, make that scene more realistic by having your character discover she can disable the spider by puncturing it’s cephalothorax so the spider can’t use it’s legs.

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Sarah E. Seeley is a fantasy and horror author, and an affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association.
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