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New study finds that bat-eating spiders are everywhere

Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   March 17, 2013 at 9:36 AM   |   Comments

March 17 (UPI) -- If there were ever a time to consider moving to Antarctica, it's now.

In a new study published March 13, researchers surveyed scientific journals, blogs and even Flickr for accounts of spiders killing and eating bats. They found 52 incidents of spiders munching on bats -- an animal with few other natural enemies -- on every continent except Antarctica. Researchers concluded that spiders consume bats more frequently that previously thought.

Dead bat (Rhinolophus cornutus orii) caught in the web of a female Nephila pilipes on Amami-Oshima Island, Japan (Photo by Yasunori Maezono, Kyoto University, Japan).

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.

Check out the National Geographic video below if you need to see it with your own eyes:

[PLoS]

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