Bat-Eating Spiders Are More Common Think
The Internet is full of blogs and articles that tell of spiders that can eat some mammals. There are some excessively large tarantulas that can put down creatures that possess an even greater body mass than the spiders themselves. YouTube is full of disturbing videos showing tarantulas, such as the aptly named goliath-bird eater, chowing down on mice and rats, but have you ever heard of a spider that can eat a bat? How could such a feat be possible? After all bats are airborne creatures, and the last time I checked, there does not exist any known tarantulas that can fly. Well, some of you have probably already figured out how some spiders can eat bats—the bats become caught in spider webs.
Amazingly, spiders consume bats on every continent in the world, except for Antarctica. This is a surprising fact since bats are some of the world’s most successful mammals. Bats have become adapted to just about every environment in the world. There are twelve thousand different types of bats, which accounts for one fifth of all mammals. One reason why bats thrive so easily is because, unlike snakes, owls and hawks, bats have very few natural enemies. Unfortunately for bats, they are not only not safe from spiders, but even some mean-looking centipedes have been seen consuming bats. Even cockroaches have been known to eat baby-bats that have fallen to the ground from the ceilings of caves.
In addition to bats, there are also several bird species that have become trapped in spider webs, and slowly eaten by one single spider. After researchers compiled fifty-two different reports of bats eating spiders, researchers are now convinced that spiders eat bats far more often than previously thought. However, bats getting caught in webs can still be regarded as a rare occurrence, just not nearly as rare as traditionally thought, and if you are a bat-friendly type, then you will be happy to know that most bats do escape even the strongest of spider webs. Sadly, many baby bats are not as lucky. Researchers are currently attempting to gather more data on bat and spider relations in order to determine why many types of spiders instinctively desire bats.
Have you ever watched a video showing a mammal being eaten by a spider? If yes, what type of spider and what type of mammal were featured in the video?