Bat-Eating Spiders: On the Rise in Every Continent, Minus Antarctica (VIDEO)
Unless you're in Antarctica, you may have seen none other than a bat-eating spider. (Yes, that's right folks!) A new study released on March 13 that surveyed scientific journals, blogs and even Flickr accounts for them showed that they're a growing phenomenon across every continent, except for the aforementioned, Antarctica. Fifty-two incidents, to be exact, were found of spiders munching on bats-an animal with few other natural enemies, and researchers are concluding that spiders consume bats more frequently than previously thought.
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According to UPI.com, while most incidents involved web-building spiders in the tropics and warmer climates, the scientists also reported an "attempt by a large fishing spider Dolomedes triton (Pisauridae) to kill a bat pup...below a bridge in Indiana."
In other incidences, orb-weaving spiders have been known to block the entrances to bat caves in southeast Asia and the tropics.
Huntsmans and tarantulas -- spiders that hunt for their prey rather than waiting for them to fly into a web -- have been spotted eating small bats that have fallen to the ground.
Spiders (order Araneae) are air-breathing arthropods that have eight legs and chelicerae with fangs that inject venom. They are the largest order of arachnidsand rank seventh in total species diversity among all other groups of organisms. Spiders are found worldwide on every continent except for Antarctica, and have become established in nearly every habitat with the exception of air and sea colonization.
Want to see a bat-eating spider? Check out this video, courtesy of National Geographic.