mygalomorph spiders

anonymous asked:

What is a spider's mouth like?

Omg science lezgo spider digestive system ready set GO

WOW look at those fangs. Obviously this is a tarantula but I can’t find pictures of true spiders’ mouths so just roll with it. Okay so the obvious parts that we see on the outside without getting too sciency are the fangs and the chelicerae (the mandible-like things that the fangs are attached to). So the first step in eating is KILLING the thing. This is done by STABBING the prey with those fangs and injecting it with venom, which is stored in a gland in the head. The next part requires a more technical diagram:

Yeah that’s about right. Okay now there are two different methods to doing this whole eating thing: The first one is used mostly by smaller true spiders. They regurgitate digestive juices from a digestive gland somewhere in their midgut onto their prey until it’s mostly liquified, then they slurp up the juicy goodness of partially-digested insect Slurpie through their tiny mouth hole. The second method also involves regurgitation, but it also involves maceration (fancy word for chewing). Larger spiders, mostly mygalomorphs (tarantulas and relatives), will use their powerful chelicerae to mash their prey to bits. This makes the whole Slurpie process a bit faster.

Once the prey is Slurpie-fied, it’s vacuumed into the mouth, through the pharynx, and into the “sucking stomach,” which acts like a pump to carry the food farther into the digestive tract. That’s where the good stuff gets separated from the bad stuff. Throughout the midgut, nutrients are separated from the… not… good stuff… mostly containing nitrogen, which can then be pooped out. Next these little tubes, the Malpughian tubes (if I spelled it wrong it’s on the diagram), help separate any remaining toxins from their blood. This can also be pooped out. Through the anus. That’s it.

Spider mouth. Science out.