The BBC reports on research into why some female spiders eat their male partners after sex. The article is a little confused, so I'll summarise my understanding of it here.

  • The vast majority don't engage in this cannibalistic activity.
  • Those that do can't be doing so for nutritional value since a male spider is surprisingly a rather poor meal compared to their more normal diet. (This bit is the new research.)
  • Therefore those that routinely cannibalise their partner are doing so for reason not yet understood.
  • Plenty of existing hypotheses abound, such as it being a way to reduce competition.
  • This research seems to have simply attempted to knock one off that list of hypotheses.

My mother complained last time I illustrated a spidery story with a tasty close-up so you'll have to follow the link for that.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for no picture this time!

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