A Good Mother Spider
“They hatch cockatrice’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper.”
Not every spider can kill you if it bites you! But I have never really warmed to the eight-legged monsters. It’s the sheer legginess of spiders that repels me. And jumping spiders are the worst.
So, when I came across a science news article about a particular jumping spider called toxeus magna, I didn’t think it was something I wanted to read, nor did I want to see the pictures. But, despite myself, I found this one fascinating. The mother spiders are actually good mothers and carefully look after their babies.
This particular species was discovered in a park in Singapore. When scientist Zanqi Chen found the species, he found a female surrounded by babies. Yet, other jumping spiders are loners and sometimes even eat their young. This one was nursing them.
Chen’s surprise deepened when he studied them in the lab. The mother spider was observed to be leaving droplets of white secretion around the nest, and the babies drank it up. Sometimes, babies clung to their mother and appeared to be suckling. Closer analysis showed that the baby spiders could not survive without this liquid, which, for a period, provided their only sustenance. Despite not being a mammal, these spiders appear to suckle their young on what is, for all intents and purposes, a liquid acting like milk.
God has made some remarkable creatures, and I never cease to be amazed at the marvels that He has created. Author: Paul F. Taylor
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for men and women of science who explore Your world and think Your thoughts after them. Amen.
Ref: Yong, E. (2018), There’s a Spider that Makes Milk, < https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/11/spider-makes-milk-and-cares-its-young/576829/ >, accessed 11/30/2018. Image: Toxues Magna, from French Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported.
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