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Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Get Back In The Water, Spiders Are Now Eating Fish

Nature. Staaaaaaahp.


Go to bed with the lights on and never come out: research published yesterday reveals that a staggering variety of spiders across the globe are semi-aquatic and catch fish on the reg. Obviously a spidernado is now inevitable.

Fish Predation by Semi-Aquatic Spiders: A Global Pattern, published yesterday in PLOS One, reveals that spiders ranging from 2-6 centimeters in size can often be found chowing down on aquatic prey much, much larger than their teeny-tiny spidey body. Although scientists had long suspected based off anecdotal evidence that spiders might supplement their diet with a little seafood, the diversity of the spiders that eat aquatic prey and the frequency with which the study says attacks occur is surprising.


The researchers explain,

The notion of fish-catching spiders is rather peculiar if we consider that spiders, as a whole, are traditionally viewed as the classic example of a predator that feeds on insects, yet some spiders are well-adapted for life near, or on, the water surface


[Spiders also] supplement their arthropod diet with small vertebrates including frogs, toads, salamanders, lizards, snakes, mice, rats, bats, and birds […] and many spiders may be found at the land-water interface


According to the study, spiders regularly eat fish on every single continent except for Antarctica. In North America, most spider-on-fish violence occurs in Florida.

As for anyone who thinks I’m disproportionately grossed out by the circle of life:


Even spiders admit they’re scary.

( via io9, GIF via Dan Van Winkle and Victoria McNally)

Previously in nightmare fuel

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