Do tarantulas and giant centipedes have same method of liquifying and eating their prey?

Dr. Octopus

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Tarantulas and giant centipedes both interest me a great deal- Ive watching some of the gorey, yet fascinating videos placed by pet owners on YouTube of tarantulas and giant centipedes killing and eating their prey- It seems that thier mouths are designed in a very similar way-Both have the large hollow fangs that inject a corrosive poisonous enzyme- yet I understood tarantulas cannot eat solids- they must liquify thier food. One video i watched of a giant centipede eating a mouse fasinated me, because the centipede seemed to be swallowing solid bits-
Sorry to be graphic there- So do tarantulas liquify thier food- and centipedes eat semi solids? I wish I could find a close up sketch of photo of their respective mouths to see if they are designed the same way- or differently, and see if they disolve or chew food the same way..
 
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cheetah13mo

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I think it's a combination of the venom and saliva breaking the food down the act of them chewing it to a pulp. Not sure, that's just my theory.
 

Midnightrdr456

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i think pedes tear their prey apart and take tiny bites that are eaten, more similar to a scorpion than a T
 

Cheshire

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Centipedes eat food similar to the way we do. They use their venom to subdue their prey, and then take bites off it as we would corn on the cob.

Tarantulas inject venom directly into their prey, the venom liquifies the inside and they pass the soup through a 'filter' that filters out basically everything but the liquid.

I can't remember off the top of my head if the filter hairs are on the chelicera. I believe they are. Either way, they're located around the mouth.
 

cacoseraph

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i have always considered cents to be the most primitive of the Big Three (spiders, scorpions, and centipedes... oh my!) and their eating habits and methods reflect this, i think

liek chesh was saying, tarantulas have a very sophisticated way of eating, with external predigesting and a micrometric filter. tarantulas are very neat eaters, being able to consume a pinky with no mess.... centipedes can sometimes manage to spread a small roachling across their entire cage.

very much apples and oranges to me... but they are both great fun to watch!

cool question, i always like comparing and contrasting our creepy little pets
 

Dr. Octopus

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Centipedes eat food similar to the way we do. They use their venom to subdue their prey, and then take bites off it as we would corn on the cob.

Tarantulas inject venom directly into their prey, the venom liquifies the inside and they pass the soup through a 'filter' that filters out basically everything but the liquid.

I can't remember off the top of my head if the filter hairs are on the chelicera. I believe they are. Either way, they're located around the mouth.



This is very interesting- so the venom of the centipede doesnt break down the tissues, it merely incapcitates it's prey? And the tarantula venom both incapacitates and dissolves tissues? The tarantua venom must have 2 different compounds in their venom, the 'stunning' agent and the 'digestion' agent......I can't help but wonder which would be more unpleasant for the prey- being eaten by a tarantula or a giant centipede- The pede seems a bit more viscious when wolfing down their food..In the video I saw of a giant pede eating a mouse, the mouse was still moving, even though the pede was ripping out it's internal organs...
 

Dr. Octopus

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i have always considered cents to be the most primitive of the Big Three (spiders, scorpions, and centipedes... oh my!) and their eating habits and methods reflect this, i think



I think lobsters have a similar way of chewing and eating their food as the scorpions and centipedes..well- Comparing the lobster mouth to the scorpion mouth- the parts seem quite similar-Is there a common ancestor?
 

Cheshire

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This is very interesting- so the venom of the centipede doesnt break down the tissues, it merely incapcitates it's prey? And the tarantula venom both incapacitates and dissolves tissues? The tarantua venom must have 2 different compounds in their venom, the 'stunning' agent and the 'digestion' agent......I can't help but wonder which would be more unpleasant for the prey- being eaten by a tarantula or a giant centipede- The pede seems a bit more viscious when wolfing down their food..In the video I saw of a giant pede eating a mouse, the mouse was still moving, even though the pede was ripping out it's internal organs...
Kind of, yeah. From what I've read from Caco's observations with centipedes in his other posts, it seems to me that venom may not even be needed in some circumstances. Depending on how hungry the centipede is, or how much the prey struggles the centipede may not even inject enough venom to incapacitate it's prey. Half eaten prey will sometimes wonder the enclosure.

The same holds true for tarantulas. Some components of some species seem to only be used for defense. Mice seem to be more sensitive to tarantula venom than any other mammal, and this makes evolutionary sense to me. Mice are just as feirce and tough as tarantulas and can infiltrate the burrows of spiders to engage them on their own turf.

Also, the mechanical properties of the maxillipeds and fangs can also keep the prey in check quite well. If I were a mouse (assuming by 'unpleasant', you mean painful), I would venture to guess that the centipede would be more painful because centis seem to prefer to physically subdue their prey, rather than chemically like tarantulas.

I don't have any S. subspinpes specimens, so I can't comment on the effects of the venom on it's prey. The centipede species I happen to own are pretty much benign (check my profile).
 

Dr. Octopus

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Kind of, yeah. From what I've read from Caco's observations with centipedes in his other posts, it seems to me that venom may not even be needed in some circumstances. Depending on how hungry the centipede is, or how much the prey struggles the centipede may not even inject enough venom to incapacitate it's prey. Half eaten prey will sometimes wonder the enclosure.

The same holds true for tarantulas. Some components of some species seem to only be used for defense. Mice seem to be more sensitive to tarantula venom than any other mammal, and this makes evolutionary sense to me. Mice are just as feirce and tough as tarantulas and can infiltrate the burrows of spiders to engage them on their own turf.

Also, the mechanical properties of the maxillipeds and fangs can also keep the prey in check quite well. If I were a mouse (assuming by 'unpleasant', you mean painful), I would venture to guess that the centipede would be more painful because centis seem to prefer to physically subdue their prey, rather than chemically like tarantulas.

I don't have any S. subspinpes specimens, so I can't comment on the effects of the venom on it's prey. The centipede species I happen to own are pretty much benign (check my profile).


Thanks for the detailed response.....

Would the corrosive properties of tarantula venom (on it's prey) be more or less be uniform among the different tarantula species- or are there some tarantulas that have venom with super enzymes that can break down tissues faster than their tarantula cousins? For example, if a mexican red kneed and a cobalt blue were give prey at the same time, would their respective venom injections have the exact same effect as each other in the same period of time? With the cobalt blue being super aggressive- I thought perhaps that aggression would be reflected in the potency of its venom as well...
 

Derek W.

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Thanks for the detailed response.....

Would the corrosive properties of tarantula venom (on it's prey) be more or less be uniform among the different tarantula species- or are there some tarantulas that have venom with super enzymes that can break down tissues faster than their tarantula cousins? For example, if a mexican red kneed and a cobalt blue were give prey at the same time, would their respective venom injections have the exact same effect as each other in the same period of time? With the cobalt blue being super aggressive- I thought perhaps that aggression would be reflected in the potency of its venom as well...
I think that's pretty hard to answer. From what I understand OW T's generally have "stronger" venom, but there is alot up in the air, such as how much venom the T chooses to inject. I don't know if anyone has done any serious research on it since the topic of venom potency pops up every now and then here on the boards.
 

Cheshire

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Thanks for the detailed response.....

Would the corrosive properties of tarantula venom (on it's prey) be more or less be uniform among the different tarantula species- or are there some tarantulas that have venom with super enzymes that can break down tissues faster than their tarantula cousins? For example, if a mexican red kneed and a cobalt blue were give prey at the same time, would their respective venom injections have the exact same effect as each other in the same period of time? With the cobalt blue being super aggressive- I thought perhaps that aggression would be reflected in the potency of its venom as well...
I have no idea. I'd assume not, because the defensive compounds (OW tends to be hotter than NW) are completely different chemicals than the digestive compounds.

Caco: On the subject of who's been around the longest, everything I've read indicates that scorpions were around long before tarantulas and that they preceeded centipedes onto land.

If you have resources I don't have, I would love to read them :)
 

lucanidae

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Myriapods were the first arthropods to colonize land, and it was a common ancestor even before the millipedes and the centipedes diverged. As for scorpions, many people confuse Eurypterids (sea scorpions) that lived in shallow waters for today's scorpions, but these two groups are very different.

"The first example from the fossil record of an arthropod clearly adapted for life on land comes in the form of a Pneumodesmus newmani a 428 million year old millipede."

"The Pneumodesmus fossil already puts arthropods on land 52 million years before vertebrates but given the extreme improbability of a given species being fossilised and that fossil then being discovered it seems likely there where myriapods (centipedes, millipedes and their allies) on land even before this date."

"Hexapods (including insects and springtails), crustaceans (in the form of amphipods and wood lice) and arachnids must have all had some pioneer organism that independently make that group’s first steps on land."

Seeing the above quote, it wouldn't even be right to compare scorpions and tarantulas in this way, because it was a common ancestor of both groups that emerged onto land first.

As for the original question, arachnids (including scorpions and tarantulas) exhibit external digestion while Myriapods do not. Think about a Millipede (closest living relatives to centipedes) chewing up leaves and detritus. In the same way, centipedes masticate and swallow food particles. Arachnids are equipped with sucking stomachs to ingest liquid food, while Myriapods are not.

Also, for the venom question, the tarantula venom is a cocktail of many different chemicals, some defensive and some used for digestion, but they are all injected together. This is in contrast to scorpions who have been shown to have two different venom types, one clearly aimed at defense and one more efficient at helping to dissolve the prey item.

Quotes above from: http://science_boy.blogspot.com/2006/04/when-animals-first-conquered-land.html
 

cacoseraph

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Thanks for the detailed response.....

Would the corrosive properties of tarantula venom (on it's prey) be more or less be uniform among the different tarantula species- or are there some tarantulas that have venom with super enzymes that can break down tissues faster than their tarantula cousins? For example, if a mexican red kneed and a cobalt blue were give prey at the same time, would their respective venom injections have the exact same effect as each other in the same period of time? With the cobalt blue being super aggressive- I thought perhaps that aggression would be reflected in the potency of its venom as well...
I think that's pretty hard to answer. From what I understand OW T's generally have "stronger" venom, but there is alot up in the air, such as how much venom the T chooses to inject. I don't know if anyone has done any serious research on it since the topic of venom potency pops up every now and then here on the boards.

one very important thing to bear in mind when talking about venom potency... you say that cobalt blue and old worlders have more potent venom than new worlders in general... this might only be true when talking about human reactivity potency. they type of venoms that cause bad reactions in humans likely won't be especially effective against invert prey.

cytotoxic venoms would probably be more effective across the board, depending on how they actual destroy animal cells. maybe. i'm just guessing there.

also, some centipedes (Scolopendra heros, specifically, at least) do have cytotoxic components to their venom. check out the references sticky. there has not been very much in the way of study done to centipede venom. i would say the bulk has been done on scorpion venom, a tiny bit on tarantula, and virtually none on centipede. usually it's the killers that get the most attn ;)
 

Cheshire

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Myriapods were the first arthropods to colonize land, and it was a common ancestor even before the millipedes and the centipedes diverged. As for scorpions, many people confuse Eurypterids (sea scorpions) that lived in shallow waters for today's scorpions, but these two groups are very different.

"The first example from the fossil record of an arthropod clearly adapted for life on land comes in the form of a Pneumodesmus newmani a 428 million year old millipede."

"The Pneumodesmus fossil already puts arthropods on land 52 million years before vertebrates but given the extreme improbability of a given species being fossilised and that fossil then being discovered it seems likely there where myriapods (centipedes, millipedes and their allies) on land even before this date."

"Hexapods (including insects and springtails), crustaceans (in the form of amphipods and wood lice) and arachnids must have all had some pioneer organism that independently make that group’s first steps on land."

Seeing the above quote, it wouldn't even be right to compare scorpions and tarantulas in this way, because it was a common ancestor of both groups that emerged onto land first.

As for the original question, arachnids (including scorpions and tarantulas) exhibit external digestion while Myriapods do not. Think about a Millipede (closest living relatives to centipedes) chewing up leaves and detritus. In the same way, centipedes masticate and swallow food particles. Arachnids are equipped with sucking stomachs to ingest liquid food, while Myriapods are not.

Also, for the venom question, the tarantula venom is a cocktail of many different chemicals, some defensive and some used for digestion, but they are all injected together. This is in contrast to scorpions who have been shown to have two different venom types, one clearly aimed at defense and one more efficient at helping to dissolve the prey item.

Quotes above from: http://science_boy.blogspot.com/2006/04/when-animals-first-conquered-land.html

:worship: Sweet. Thank you :)
 
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