Well I Don't Like The Sound Of That: Bat-Eating Spiders Found On Every Continent Except Antarctica
WARNING: SPIDER PICTURES. That should kind of go without saying though because it's a post about spiders, you know? Stop emailing me.
In news that's sure to send real estate prices on Antarctica skyrocketing, scientists have confirmed that spiders that prey on bats have been found on every continent except the icy giant. I'm coming, Santa! "Antarctica is at the south pole." Right, I knew that.
The researchers write that bat-catching spiders were reported from "virtually every continent," with the exception of Antarctica. About 80% of the reported "bat catches" were performed by web-building spiders and 12% to hunting spiders (i.e. spiders that forage without the use of a web):
While in some instances bats entangled in spider webs may have died of exhaustion, starvation, dehydration, and/or hyperthermia (i.e., non-predation death), there were numerous other instances where spiders were seen actively attacking, killing, and eating the captured bats (i.e., predation). This evidence suggests that spider predation on flying vertebrates is more widespread than previously assumed.
I love bats, so obviously this is heartbreaking news for me. *wiping fake tear* Now if you'll excuse me, I need a minute to compose myself. Actually, I'm just going to take the rest of the afternoon off. If my boss asks tell him somebody died. No -- tell him EVERYBODY died. That should buy me coming in late tomorrow too.
Hit the jump for a compilation shot of a bunch of bats in webs.
Thanks to Rhubarb, Tallon C, Jonesy and Daniel, who heard there are also spider eating humans on every continent except Antarctica. Haha, I one time I saw a younger cousin of mine eat a dead spider off the kitchen floor.