from Philosophy & College Life: in which the undergraduate 'Jessex' and his upperclassman friend 'Andrei' watch a spider eating an insect…
Said Jessex: ‘I thought spiders only dissolved the inner organs and drank them, and let the shells fall, dried and empty. At least, that's what they said in school’.
Andrei answered: ‘It depends on the victim. I’ve seen a big orb-weaving wood-spider sucking at a grasshopper as big as herself for days on end, above a pile of dried exoskeletons on the floor, and I’ve seen a smaller brown spider (I don’t recall what kind) eat a dozen whiteflies shell, wings, and all. I expect if the victim’s shell is soft enough, it dissolves with the innards, and the spider can drink it all off with nothing left over. It’s just like one of us sucking the pulp out of a fruit and eating the peel after’.
Said Jessex: 'But Andrei! Spiders don't have the mouthparts to chew up the skin, however soft it is!'.
Andrei answered: ‘It's happening right in front of you, Jess, and you still say Impossible? The prey must've gotten liquefied from the inside-out, or else there'd be something left over, and we can both see there isn't'.
Any questions? Comments? Suggestions? Criticism? Threats of violence? Let me know!