Spiders are able to eat snakes that are hundreds of times larger than them

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Spiders are able to eat snakes that are hundreds of times larger than them
Spiders are able to eat snakes that are hundreds of times larger than them
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At the moment, science knows about the existence of 44 thousand species of spiders. All of them are predators and mainly feed on insects, but there are also species that prefer larger prey. Scientists have long known that these creatures sometimes feed on frogs, rodents, and even birds. However, despite the data already available, they continue to observe different types of spiders and learn even more interesting facts. For example, recently Swiss scientists announced that there are spiders in the world that can eat prey several hundred times their size. Some of these cases were reported in the news, but sometimes scientists watched it all with their own eyes. Within the framework of this article, I propose to find out which spiders are so dangerous that they even attack huge snakes. And in general - how do they do it?

Fun fact: Spiders are indeed very voracious creatures. In 2017, scientists announced that the total weight of the annual spider prey is about twice the total weight of all adults on Earth. More about this was described in the scientific journal The Science of Nature.

Diet of spiders

Scientists continually study the diet of spiders and often make surprising discoveries. For example, in 2013, an article appeared in the scientific journal PLOS ONE that spiders often eat bats. Scientists have found at least 52 evidence of spiders attacking large rodents - these creatures live on almost all continents except Antarctica. A year later, scientists recorded 90 cases of fish eating by spiders. In general, arthropod predators clearly have a good appetite and pose a danger to many animals.

A spider attacks a bat in National Geographic

The journal The Journal of Arachnology recently described hundreds of cases of spiders attacking large snakes. In total, researchers from Switzerland managed to find out about 319 such cases. Most spider attacks on reptiles have occurred in the wild, but 22 cases have been triggered in the laboratory. In total, scientists have identified 30 species of spiders that can feed on snakes. Usually such cases are covered in the news and are not recorded in scientific documents.

Spider-snake fight

The most dangerous spiders in the world

Most often snakes are attacked by the snake spiders (Theridiidae), which includes the famous black widow (Latrodectus). The length of these spiders usually does not exceed one centimeter, so they mainly choose snake cubs as prey. Black widows kill their victims with an oily yellow poison. It contains neurotoxins that act directly on nerve cells. About an hour after the bite, the victims develop muscle spasms that subsequently spread to larger and larger muscles. In the absence of antivenom, the bites are fatal, but sometimes it takes several days.

Believe it or not, a tiny black widow can defeat a huge snake

It is important to note that tarantula spiders (Theraphosidae) and representatives of the Nephilidae species were also seen eating snakes - these are the ones that also eat bats and fish.

Spiders often fall prey to serpentine snakes. In general, this is not surprising, because 60% of the snakes existing today belong to this family. In some cases, spiders managed to defeat creatures whose body length was more than 1 meter. Usually such daredevils were the above-mentioned tarantula spiders or nephilic orb-web spiders (Nephila). Black widows sometimes managed to defeat snakes 30 times their size.But the record belongs to a spider of the species Steatoda triangulosa, which once sat down on a garter snake (Thamnophis), which is 355 times larger than it.

Spider of the species Steatoda triangulosa

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