Take the 2-minute tour ×
Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Are there differences in the components of saliva among species? Also, do the functions of saliva differ between species?

share|improve this question
    
Some functions stay the same. For instance, at least in mammals, saliva helps to lubricate food for swallowing, begins digestion of starches by amylases and provides a liquid medium in order for taste sensation to funciton. More broadly conserved in animals is the inclusion of antimicrobial peptides in the saliva that function as a primitive immune function to keep the oral cavity clear of harmful microbes. –  leonardo May 28 at 15:22
1  
This question should be narrowed down somewhat. Which species are you asking about? –  J. Musser Jun 28 at 17:37

1 Answer 1

It could be better answered if you specified which species you were interested in. Broadly from Wikipedia, snakes have venom, some swifts have gummy saliva to help in the building of nests, spiders produce their web from salivary glands etc. This is too broad a topic. The human salivary composition is found on the Wikipedia page I have linked. Salivary compositions can change with habits which have been detailed in this article. To compare, I am also providing the link to an article on the saliva composition of an assassin bug.

share|improve this answer
1  
Not to nitpick, but venom is technically injected and is not a normal component of saliva. Toxins on the other hand are completely normal. –  leonardo May 28 at 13:40
    
@leonardo wikipedia mentioned venomous saliva so i just put it in but u are right. Toxins would be right term to use –  The Last Word May 28 at 15:11
    
I think the answer is not very original or authoritative. Can you try to flesh it out a little? I agree that the question is broad, but I think you could put a little more into the answer. –  J. Musser Jun 28 at 17:35
    
@jmusser Thank you for your opinion. I will have a look at it as soon as I get some time. –  The Last Word Jun 28 at 19:08

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.