|MadSci Network: General Biology|
Actually, no, spiders do not have a tongue in the same sense we do. Their mouthparts- chelicerae (fangs), endites or maxillae (modified bases or coxi of palpi), palpi (feelers) and labium (a sort of "tongue")-act to manipulate prey and form the mouth. Only liquid food is ingested after the prey has been either mashed (macerated) by the chelicerae and possibly the endites and/or predigested by strong chemicals (enzymes) drooled on the prey from the mouth. Some spiders do not have the ability to macerate prey (they lack teeth on the chelicerae). Thus spiders eat their food much as we would eat a slurpie! Reference: Foelix, R. F. 1996. Biology of Spiders, 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, New York, NY.
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