November 6, 2010 8:16 PM Subscribe
How do invertebrates digest grasses?
posted by Jasper Fnorde to Science & Nature (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Today I heard a talk about how the Spartina marsh grasses are being munched on by the square-back marsh crab on Cape Cod. Now, digesting grasses is a big challenge for mammals, typically requiring two or three stomachs, cooperative bacteria, and quite a bit of rumination. How do the crabs manage it?
I understand that other invertebrates happily munch on plants, too. Some of them suck out the juices, and plenty munch on leaves. And termites have some bacteria/gut fermentation thing going on. But is there some generalized strategy for digesting a cellulose-heavy diet that matches the mammalian solution?