Tooth Battles of Nature: Venomous Snake Versus Tarantula
This clash is obviously about fangs, which, as explored in an earlier post, can be yours for the simple price of having someone file your teeth into points. In fact, it is about two species with venomous, hollow fangs. But whose are better, the extremely long, pointy, kind as exhibited by the cobra, or the totally moveable kind that tarantulas have?
The fangs of a tarantula are actually an extension of the spider’s chelicerae, which are basically little legs under its eyes and before the mouth. The fangs themselves are hollow like those of most venomous creatures and are also designed for chewing, biting, and generally creeping people out in a big way. The chelicerae can articulate the teeth every which direction, and also contain muscles that allow the tarantula to squeeze venom into its prey.
For starters, all snakes are polyphyodonts, meaning their teeth are constantly replaced. Like the tarantula, the venomous snake has hollow teeth which venom passes through when the snake bites you. Most venomous snakes can fold their teeth back in their mouths, but cannot move them all around like a tarantula. They are also more flexible than a tarantula’s, and are designed only for hypodermic poison injection and not for chewing.
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