Tarantulas Eddie D. Williams
July 25, 2011
Tarantulas, or more specifically Grammostola pulchras or G. pulchras are amazing organisms. Tarantulas are equipped with many important organs that ensure their survival in their environment. One important organ is the silk gland. Silk glands produce silk. Another important organ in a tarantula is the spinnerets. Spinnerets are very important for survival, and here sticky fluid is released that dries into silk. The venom glands are also very important and are used for defense and catching prey. The book lungs in a tarantula are responsible for oxygen. Without these organs, tarantulas would not be able to survive. Tarantulas are equipped to live in many environments and climates.
All spiders have silk glands and can produce silk. Spider silk is a protein fiber, which is produced by the silk glands and spinnerets. Spider silk is incredibly strong and sources state that “quantitatively, spider silk is five times stronger than steel of the same diameter” (University of Bristol, 2002, para.1). Tarantulas possess silk glands within their abdomens. These glands produce a protein liquid, which turns into silk when ejected by the spinnerets and is exposed to air. Tarantulas have at least three silk glands inside their abdomen toward the bottom close to the anus.
“Tarantulas evolved from ancestors that had limbs on their abdomen. The arthropods like crustaceans such as crayfish, one of their few living relatives, Limulus, the king crabs, has managed to keep its abdominal limbs” (Australian Museum, 2009, para. 38). These limbs have been lost or modified in tarantulas and other arachnids. . The tarantula’s spinnerets are derived from these ancestral abdominal limbs. The spinnerets are vital in ensuring the tarantula’s survivor in its environment. Spinnerets are small openings in the back part of the tarantula, through which the sticky fluid that dries into silk is...