A bat’s enemies: owls, hawks, snakes, the Joker, spiders. Spiders? Yes.
The incidence of spiders eating bats could be more widespread than initially suspected, reports a study published March 13 in PLoS ONE. To reach this conclusion, the authors spoke with scientists, conducted an extensive scientific literature review, dug through the blogosphere, and looked for pictures of spiders eating bats on Flickr.
The search turned up 52 reports of bat-eating spiders, less than half of which had been published before.
The authors report that bat-munching spiders live on every continent except Antarctica. Most catch bats in webs, like the giant golden silk orb-weavers (Nephilidae). As adults, these spiders’ leg spans can be 10-15 centimeters across, and they weave webs more than a meter in diameter. Bats have also been observed in the webs of social spiders, such as Parawixia. But a minority of spiders, like huntsman and tarantulas, forage for prey without a web, and have been spotted munching on bats on forest floors.
Perhaps most surprisingly, “An attempt by a large fishing spider Dolomedes triton to kill a bat pup has been witnessed below a bridge in Indiana,” the authors report.
That spider’s plot was foiled after it became frightened by photographers.
(All photos and captions from Nyffeler M, Knörnschild M (2013) Bat Predation by Spiders. PLoS ONE 8(3): e58120. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058120)
Two oversized, poison-filled mandibular glands run the entire length of the ant’s body. When combat takes a turn for the worse, the worker ant violently contracts its abdominal muscles to rupture its gaster at the intersegmental fold, which also bursts the mandibular glands, thereby…
this baby is a ribbon eel, part of a group of fish called the moray eels. moray eels are basically hilarious because they are always fucking delighted (they can’t actually close their mouths so basically they’re grinning from ear to ear every moment of their lives).
wait i hear you say, if they can’t close their mouths how do they eat. pharyngeal jaws, my friend, pharyngeal jaws. don’t know what those are?
have you ever seen alien?
i shit you not, moray eels have a second set of teeth in the back of their throats that are spring loaded to jump out and grab things that swim into their mouths.
now if that wasn’t awesome enough, the ribbon eel is the only protandric moray. that means that although this little fella is clearly, by his colouring, a young adult male, give him a long enough lifespan and he’ll get bigger, turn yellow-brown, and become female.
that’s right, this is a species made entirely of young pretty men and powerful older women.
also if you put them into captivity they stop eating and die within about a month. the ribbon eel lives to be free~
The recent unprecedented video footage of a giant squid filmed in its deep ocean habitat has renewed interest in the enormous — and yet still mysterious — species. It’s believed that giant squid (genus Architeuthis) can grow up to 55 feet long. The individual captured on video via a small submarine located in the North Pacific Ocean was about 30 feet long and silver and gold in color, marine biologist Edie Widder, who helped to shoot the footage, said. Her colleague Tsunemi Kubodera added that the squid was missing its two longest tentacles. Cephalopod experts are intrigued by the world record footage.