Spider blood, also known as hemolymph, contains many blood cells with oxygen-carrying pigments called hemocyanin, which give the blood a light blue color. In contrast, the primary components of human blood are red blood cells carrying the red pigment hemoglobin. Spider blood also contains many other types of blood cells that play a role comparable to that of the white blood cells of humans. Among other functions, these cells play a role in blood clotting after an injury.
The spider’s long, tubular heart lies toward the back side of the abdomen. When the heart contracts, it pumps blood forward into the cephalothorax and backward into the abdomen. Blood travels through closed tubes, or arteries, into spaces in the body cavity. From these spaces the blood travels to the book lungs, where it releases carbon dioxide and picks up a fresh supply of oxygen before returning to the heart.
Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.