How do Tarantulas Breathe?

Tarantula, a giant spider, is a member of the Arachnida class. They are similar to insects but do have the same physiological structure as an insect. They do require oxygen to live like any other living being. But a tarantula does not have a nose or nostrils. So, how do tarantulas breathe? Well, they have a particular physiological organ to help in this case.

How do tarantulas breathe? A tarantula has a pair of trachea or book lungs as its breathing organ. These have thin hollow plates to facilitate gas exchange. A spider uses its abdominal slits to inhale or exhale air. They also have copper-based blood called Hemolymph to transport gas all over their body.

How does a Tarantula breathe?

Tarantulas breathe through the trachea; also called” Book lungs”. It is a narrow tube that passes through the whole body of a tarantula.

A tarantula has two pairs of the trachea, while many other species of spiders have only one of them. But, they do not use their mouth. Instead, they use their abdomen as their inhaling organ.

The trachea has a lining of the “Chitin,” which protects this vital organ from any harm. It has soft, hollow and thin plates, which resemble pages of books under a microscope. A spider has a few slits in its abdomen. The three plates are open through these slits. Hence, a spider does not need its mouth to inhale or exhale gas.

A tarantula can inhale or exhale gas through these slits. These slits have flexible openings which can expand or contract during breathing. But, these slit openings do not close fully and always remain open. So, when a spider inhales, the slits become one, and the air reaches the trachea plates. Then the circulatory fluid Hemolymph passes through these plates. It allows the Hemolymph to collect oxygen and excrete carbon-dioxide directly from the air.

A grown-up Tarantula can have fifteen thin slits in each pair of “Book lungs”. Book lungs have a larger surface area which provides space for gas exchange. A grown-up Tarantula can have a Trachea with 70 sq. cm surface area.

How does the blood circulate through a Tarantula?

A Tarantula also requires a circulatory fluid to transport oxygen all over its body. Therefore, they do not have red blood. Instead, they have blue blood, called Hemolymph. It does not contain any blood molecules like humans. Instead, the Hemolymph comes with “Hemocyanin”. It is a copper-based oxygen carrier. This Hemocyanin gives a distinct blue color to the Hemolymph.

The Hemocyanin bonds with the oxygen molecules and travels through the body of the Tarantula. It then releases the oxygen in the places where a Tarantula has low oxygen saturation. On the other hand, it bonds with carbon dioxide and takes the carbon dioxide waste towards the abdomen slits.

How is the blood purified during circulation?

Breathing means inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon-dioxide. The heart has a significant role in breathing. It purifies the oxygen and channels the blood properly to ensure carbon dioxide gets released from a living animal’s body.

Tarantulas have a tubular heart with a single chamber. They have arteries and veins only. The heart muscle of the Tarantula contracts and increases the transportation of gases throughout the spider’s body.

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