- Oct 1, 2010
hmmm thats pretty crazy....didnt know that could happen thanks
Autotomy (voluntary self-amputation) can be induced by grabbing hold of a leg and not letting go. The spider acts as though it were escaping from a predator and sacrificing a leg in order to get away. Very much like a lizard dropping its tail to escape a predator. A very important thing to remember is that autotomy MUST be voluntary and deliberate on the part of the spider. There are physiological responses that shut down fluid loss when the spider intentionally drops a leg. These responses do not happen if you surgically remove a leg. So - there's a risk in trying to induce autotomy. If you only succeed in breaking the leg off rather than inducing autotomy, the tarantula will "bleed" to death because the necessary physiological responses that close the capillaries do not take place.