Vegetarian spiders and bat eating birds.  In the animal kingdom, like in human society, looks can be deceiving.

Before I get to the stories I’ll start with some question.

1.Do creepy crawlies (spiders and such) creep you out?

I have handled hissing cockroaches and let a tarantula crawl up my arm, it was a pet of a friend.

2. Any creepy crawly stories you wild like to share?

I love to enjoy a nice relaxing bath.  I follow the Japaneses system of showering to get clean that a long soak in hot water to relax.  One time I was chilling out in my hot bathtub.  When I open my eyes to find I was sharing my bath with a spider, which was swimming towards my face.

I jump up out of the tub, almost killing my self in the process.  I will admit to letting out a scream, but it was a very manly scream.

As I said I creepy crawlies don’t bother me as long as I can see them first.  I did put the spider in a jar and released it outside, after putting on some clothes of course.  🙂

3. Do you feed wild animals, and I don’t mean teenagers.  🙂

I believe it is the job of wild animals to find their own food.  My cousin feeds birds, groundhogs, raccoons and deer.  Some will now feed out of her hand.

The stores.

The Vegetarian Spider

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8302535.stm

Proving once again how much we have still learn about the creatures we share our world with, a spider tha feeds on plants has been found in Central America, and Mexico.

From the article:

It is the first-known predominantly vegetarian spider; all of the other known 40,000 spider species are thought to be mainly carnivorous.

Bagheera kiplingi, which is found in Central America and Mexico, bucks the meat-eating trend by feasting on acacia plants.

The jumping arachnid, which is 5-6mm long, has developed a taste for the tips of the acacia plants – known as Beltian bodies – which are packed full of protein.

But to reach this leafy fare, the spider has to evade the attention of ants, which live in the hollow spines of the tree.

“The spiders live on the plants – but way out on the tips of the old leaves, where the ants don’t spend a lot of time, because there isn’t any food on those leaves.”

But when they get hungry, the spiders head to the newer leaves, and get ready to run the ant gauntlet.

Professor Curry said: “And they wait for an opening – they watch the ants move around, and they watch to see that there are not any ants in the local area that they are going after.

“And then they zip in and grab one of these Beltian bodies and then clip it off, hold it in their mouths and run away.

 “And then they retreat to one of the undefended parts of the plant to eat it.”

Bat Eating Birds

A very pretty, samll, bird found in Europe, the Great Tit, get over the name guys, we are suppose to be adults here 🙂 , the insect eating bird will dine on hibernation bats when food is scarce.

http://www.mpg.de/english/illustrationsDocumentation/documentation/pressReleases/2009/pressRelease20090925/index.html

Necessity is the mother of invention: Great Tits eat hibernating common pipistrelle bats under harsh conditions of snow cover. This remarkable newly-acquired behaviour was observed by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen and their colleagues in a cave in Hungary. When the researchers offered the birds alternative feed, they ate it and showed little or no interest in flying into the cave again.

The observed cave had a large entrance. Therefore, a small amount of light penetrated into it and the birds were able to find their way around in the semi-darkness. The birds probably locate the bats in the cave through the sounds that hibernating animals make when disturbed and awoken. These sounds range from the human acoustic range to the ultra-sound range. The researchers proved that these sounds were within the audible range of the birds by playing a recording of the bat sounds to them. The birds responded by moving towards the loudspeaker with interest. “These sounds probably have a defensive purpose,” says Bjorn Siemers, “and it would seem plausible that the birds use the sounds to locate the bats.” The Great Tits needed at most 15 minutes from entry into the cave to capture a bat. In some cases, they carried the Pipistrelles out of the cave in their beaks and ate them on nearby trees.

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