The polygaster is an alien arachnoid with a unique internal set-up

It has a distinctive foregut capable of swallowing undigested solids. However, the intestine is wholly arachnid-like in arrangement. The digestive caeca, rather than working as intestines, are adapted to store food, so that it can be brought back up to the mouth, as in ruminants, to be properly digested and sent to the absorptive part of the intestine in the abdomen. The legs are tentacle-like and lack a rigid skeleton

They are carnivores, live mainly in tropical environments, and are often between 5-20cm in length

However, there may be issues with this particular anatomy that I have come to ask about. Specifically, as their stomachs are in their legs, a heavy meal is likely to impact their ability to move

Could these arachnoids realistically overcome this issue, or would it be too much to overcome?

Any answers should directly relate to the polygaster and its digestive system, as described above. Do not talk about other organ systems or traits, unless it is highly relevant to the digestive functions

This question is specifically about the digestive system, not any other features found in arachnids or any other arthropods

  • $\begingroup$ "The intestine is wholly arachnid in arrangement": Do you mean that it passes through the brain on its way from the mouth, through the thorax to the abdomen? Wouldn't that limit its ability to eat solid food? $\endgroup$
    – Monty Wild
    Feb 5, 2022 at 0:07
  • $\begingroup$ Also, unless this alien flesh is very much harder to digest than the flesh of terrestrial animals, this creature would have no need to ruminate and rechew its food. Terrestrial carnivores simply fill their stomachs with huge chunks of meat, and it all get sdigested relatively easily. $\endgroup$
    – Monty Wild
    Feb 5, 2022 at 2:31

1 Answer 1


It seems like a simple matter of metabolism. Digestion in the legs is only detrimental if your will be having a large mass in there when you need to run. After a meal, the polygaster simply needs to relax and digest. Many creatures do this. Consider a snake, which can not masticate its food. This is essentially the same problem you describe here: the snake's "legs" are its belly. It swallows large food and forms a big bulge in its "leg." Here is a python which ate a porcupine!

Python engorged on porcupine

This snake is going to have a difficult time if it has to move fast!

But the snake has a very slow metabolism, it doesn't move quickly, and has the luxury of relaxing while it digests its meal.

Your polygaster has the option of either:

  • Do not move after a large meal. The polygaster lays dormant until digestion is complete.
  • Eat smaller meals, do not gorge itself, and now it can maintan mobility. But it can't be too active because it has small meals, and low energy. It moves in bursts and sleeps 80% of the day, like a dog.

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