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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/20/2014 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

New study finds that spiders are eating fish

Scientists from Australia and Switzerland have made a curious and bizarre discovery, which may send more bathers scrambling for dry land than "Jaws" did.

A joint Australian and Swiss study shows that spiders are actively hunting and eating fish.

A joint Australian and Swiss study shows that spiders are actively hunting and eating fish.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/20/2014 (9 months ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: News, Science


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The study by zoologists point to a number of spiders that supplement their primarily insect based diet with fish, and some may even consume prey twice their size and weight.

Science can be the ultimate tool of the Catholic Church.

Some of these spiders are capable of swimming, diving and walking on the water, have powerful neurotoxins and enzymes that enable them to kill and digest fish that often exceed them in size.

A joint Australian and Swiss study shows that spiders are actively hunting and eating fish.

A joint Australian and Swiss study shows that spiders are actively hunting and eating fish.


Martin Nyffeler from the University of Basel in Switzerland and Bradley Pusey from the University of Western Australia observed numerous spiders-from as many as five families-predating on fish throughout the world; there were three more species of spider that exhibited similar behavior in laboratory conditions.

A joint Australian and Swiss study shows that spiders are actively hunting and eating fish.

A joint Australian and Swiss study shows that spiders are actively hunting and eating fish.


"The findings of such a large diversity of spiders engaging in fish predation is novel," said Mr. Nyffeler. "Our evidence suggests that the fish might be an occasional prey item of substantial nutritional importance."

A joint Australian and Swiss study shows that spiders are actively hunting and eating fish.

A joint Australian and Swiss study shows that spiders are actively hunting and eating fish.


The results from the study were published in the Plos One academic journal. The study showed that spiders on every continent except for Antarctica might prey on fish species. Most of these incidents have been documented in North America, particularly the wetlands of Florida.

In order to catch the fish, the spider will anchor its' hind legs to a stone or other firm object and leave its front legs resting on the surface of the water, waiting to ambush.

Once caught, the fish will be dragged off to a dry place before the feeding process begins.

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