Bird eating spider?

Subject: Bird eating spider?
From: "Lynne Kelly" <>
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2008 11:11:22 +1100 (EST)

> Anyone else notice it has a leg missing ?  Just as horrible with only
> seven.

Ah - my favourite arachnophobe! Hi Tony!!!

It is estimated about 20% of spiders - gorgeous creatures that they are -
have less than eight legs. If a leg gets caught or stung, the spider will
drop it at the second joint from the body. It's called autotomising. An
immature spider will regrow it on the next moult. A mature spider will
remain deficient. There are accounts of five legged spiders making
perfectly good orb webs.

I should have pointed out when the worry was that the spider might eat a
bird that in 99.999999% (I just made that up, but it is in the right order
of magnitude) of dining encounters between birds and spiders, the bird
gets fed.

Sad, isn't it?

Don't get me started on what happened to all my beloved wolf spiders when
the family of white-winged choughs decided to go digging in the garden.
The flimsy fences I had put around to protect them were useless. MELBOCA
people will hear me rattle on about spiders and birds - with lots of
photos, close-up and personal - on July 22nd.


Lynne Kelly

author, educator:

EUMY Education:

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