Fish-Eating Spiders Are Everywhere - Except Antarctica

Fish-Eating Spiders Are Everywhere - Except Antarctica

Scientists have recently discovered that fish-eating spiders can be found on every continent other than Antarctica.

Spiders have historically been considered insectivores. According to Arachnologist Martin Nyffeler, only a few spiders have been known to be fish eaters - until now. He and co-author of a new review Brad Pusey found that at least 18 different spider species have been seen eating fish in laboratories. The review was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

89 instances of spiders eating fish were collected, originating from rivers, ponds, and swamps on every continent except Antarctica. Most of the observed cases came from warmer climates and all involved freshwater fish.

A spider's fishing method isn't unlike a human sitting on shore with a fishing pole. "The spider typically assumes a position near the water's edge, with the rear pair of legs anchored to some vegetation or wood or rock, and their three front pairs of legs out of the water's surface," Pusey told Live Science in an email. Once the spider feels a fin or body brush up against its legs, it plunges in, latches on, and bites its prey near the base of the head, injecting neurotoxin. Then, it's just a matter of dragging its haul out of the water.

"It can take many minutes for the fish to die, and it is probably safer for the spider to haul it out of the water to aid in handling and reduce the potential for escape," Pusey said. 

If you happen to live in Florida, many sightings of fish-eating spiders originated from the Florida wetlands, so keep an eye out for a remarkable sight.

Source: Live Science

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I happen to live in Florida, but I've never seen this. Fishing spiders seem strange to me. But after hearing of the turtle that intakes most of it's oxygen through it's anus, I guess nothing surprises me about the animal kingdom anymore.

Kopikatsu:
I happen to live in Florida, but I've never seen this. Fishing spiders seem strange to me. But after hearing of the turtle that intakes most of it's oxygen through it's anus, I guess nothing surprises me about the animal kingdom anymore.

Considering how many humans seem to intake most of their oxygen from their anuses, I'm not sure a turtle surprises me any.

When I first saw the title, I thought it said "Flesh-Eating Spiders Are Everywhere - Except Antarctica." My immediate thought was, "Fascinating. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to burn down my house." Fortunately, I decided to read the article before grabbing the gas.

This is really pretty cool. Out of all the science news, the two I like best are the ones concerning space and the ones about things that were right under our noses but we've never noticed before.

Tahaneira:
When I first saw the title, I thought it said "Flesh-Eating Spiders Are Everywhere - Except Antarctica." My immediate thought was, "Fascinating. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to burn down my house." Fortunately, I decided to read the article before grabbing the gas.

This is really pretty cool. Out of all the science news, the two I like best are the ones concerning space and the ones about things that were right under our noses but we've never noticed before.

I'll be honest -- I decided to write about this because I, too, thought the headline was "flesh-eating."

Here's a fun game: re-read the article, and substitute every instance of "fish" with "flesh." Enjoy the nightmares.

I do so love spiders. After snakes, they are my favourite animal for sure.

Rhykker:

Tahaneira:
When I first saw the title, I thought it said "Flesh-Eating Spiders Are Everywhere - Except Antarctica." My immediate thought was, "Fascinating. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to burn down my house." Fortunately, I decided to read the article before grabbing the gas.

This is really pretty cool. Out of all the science news, the two I like best are the ones concerning space and the ones about things that were right under our noses but we've never noticed before.

I'll be honest -- I decided to write about this because I, too, thought the headline was "flesh-eating."

Here's a fun game: re-read the article, and substitute every instance of "fish" with "flesh." Enjoy the nightmares.

I think I'd prefer substituting all "fish" with "children" and the "spider _____" with "bouncy castle"

:P

This is pretty neat though. Spiders be scarayay.

Didn't homo-sapiens' intelligence develop shortly after switching to a fish-based diet, as the increased iron lead to brain development?*

Is this the dawn of the planet of the spiders?

*Probably not true, pulling that almost entirely out of my ass.**

**This is the internet. I dont have to fact-check.

EdwardOrchard:
Didn't homo-sapiens' intelligence develop shortly after switching to a fish-based diet, as the increased iron lead to brain development?*

Is this the dawn of the planet of the spiders?

*Probably not true, pulling that almost entirely out of my ass.**

**This is the internet. I dont have to fact-check.

No, human brains developed primarily because of our superior demand for empathetic problem solving, thus allowing us to Kappa the plants to our will, whereas various other species relied heavily on poop as their primary source of contemplation and self-reflection, thus lowering their self-esteem and reducing their brain-mass to becoming hypothetical instead of actively functioning, especially given the excess consumption of copy pasterino.

I have a Ph.D in scientist, I know what I'm talking about.

EdwardOrchard:
Is this the dawn of the planet of the spiders?

They shall come by land, sea, and


Nowhere is safe from the Spider Revolution!

EdwardOrchard:
Didn't homo-sapiens' intelligence develop shortly after switching to a fish-based diet, as the increased iron lead to brain development?*

Is this the dawn of the planet of the spiders?

*Probably not true, pulling that almost entirely out of my ass.**

**This is the internet. I dont have to fact-check.

Hahah, you had me for a moment, there.

Funny thing is, there was a time in college when I was eating fish for lunch every day, and a friend of mine made a joking remark about mercury poisoning, and I suddenly became very aware that I was having increasing difficulty concentrating, a symptom of mercury poisoning... Was the fish possibly ruining my intelligence? Who knows. I stopped eating so much fish though, just in case.

Rhykker:

Funny thing is, there was a time in college when I was eating fish for lunch every day, and a friend of mine made a joking remark about mercury poisoning, and I suddenly became very aware that I was having increasing difficulty concentrating, a symptom of mercury poisoning... Was the fish possibly ruining my intelligence? Who knows. I stopped eating so much fish though, just in case.

So you had to... scale it back?

High octane nightmare fuel.

Zachary Amaranth:

Kopikatsu:
I happen to live in Florida, but I've never seen this. Fishing spiders seem strange to me. But after hearing of the turtle that intakes most of it's oxygen through it's anus, I guess nothing surprises me about the animal kingdom anymore.

Considering how many humans seem to intake most of their oxygen from their anuses, I'm not sure a turtle surprises me any.

So the step-up insult from "Mouth-breather" is "Arse-breather?" makes sense.

Me55enger:

Rhykker:

Funny thing is, there was a time in college when I was eating fish for lunch every day, and a friend of mine made a joking remark about mercury poisoning, and I suddenly became very aware that I was having increasing difficulty concentrating, a symptom of mercury poisoning... Was the fish possibly ruining my intelligence? Who knows. I stopped eating so much fish though, just in case.

So you had to... scale it back?

We have the best community on the internet.

They're not in Antarctica you say? Well...

Spiders are one of the reasons I prefer the winter months.

Well I now know where I'm moving to, anyone wanna come join me? Bring a snowblower, living in North Carolina I sadly don't have one.

First we got the bird eating spider, then this. What's next? A bear eating Spider??!!! (I'm probably missing some other meat eating spiders.)

and by everywhere you of course mean as always my land of no poisonous animals or natural disasters wonderland is once again free of it. good, i like it that way.

Scarim Coral:
What's next? A bear eating Spider??!!!

we already have Putin.

 

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