Fluid mechanics and rheology of the jumping spider body fluid†
Spiders use their inner body fluid (“blood” or hemolymph) to drive hydraulic extension of their legs. In hydraulic systems, performance is highly dependent on the working fluid, which needs to be chosen according to the required operating speed and pressure. Here, we provide new insights into the fluid mechanics of spider locomotion. We present the three-dimensional structure of one of the crucial joints in spider hydraulic actuation, elucidate the fluid flow inside the spider leg, and quantify the rheological properties of hemolymph under physiological conditions. We observe that hemolymph behaves as a shear-thinning non-Newtonian fluid with a fluid behavior index n = 0.5, unlike water (n = 1.0).