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Bat-eating spiders not as rare as we thought: Study 0

QMI Agency

A small bat (superfamily Rhinolophoidea) entangled in the web of a Nephila pilipes spider at the top of the Cockatoo Hill near Cape Tribulation, Queensland, Australia. The spider pressed its mouth against the dead, wrapped bat, indicating that it was feeding on it.(Carmen Fabro, Cockatoo Hill, Australia, Live Science)

A small bat (superfamily Rhinolophoidea) entangled in the web of a Nephila pilipes spider at the top of the Cockatoo Hill near Cape Tribulation, Queensland, Australia. The spider pressed its mouth against the dead, wrapped bat, indicating that it was feeding on it.(Carmen Fabro, Cockatoo Hill, Australia, Live Science)

If bats began migrating to the Antarctic - the only continent where they don't live - there'd be an explanation for that.

It would be in the shape of the fearsome bat-eating spider.

According to an article that appeared on Live Science, bats rank among the most successful groups of mammals, with the more than 1,200 species of bats comprising about one-fifth of all mammal species.

Other than owls, hawks and snakes, bats have few natural enemies.

Researchers say they were aware of accidental deaths of bats in spiderwebs - which were thought to happen very rarely.

But recent studies of a web-building spider species that killed small bats around the world led researchers to suggest that the attacks might be more frequent than previously thought. So they analyzed 100 years' worth of scientific reports, interviews with bat and spider researchers and scans of image and video sites.

Live Science says that 88% of the reported cases of bat catches were due to web-building spiders, with giant tropical orb-weaving spiders with a leg-span of 10 to 15 cms seen catching bats in huge, strong orb-webs up to 5 m wide.

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