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Spiders Watch Their Diets Too, Study Says

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posted on May, 28 2010 @ 10:41 PM

Spiders and insects that eat other creepy crawlies purposely seek a balanced diet to maintain their health, according to a new study.

National Geographic Article

Scientists found that three predatory invertebrates—all of which use different hunting methods—adjust their feeding to correct nutritional deficiencies.

Researchers behind the study—to be published tomorrow in the journal Science —say other, much larger predators, like leopards and sharks, may also monitor what they eat to maintain a balanced diet.

While it's known that plant eaters and omnivores often eat a wide selection of foods to ensure the intake of various nutrients, carnivores aren't thought to be that fussy. Yet the study showed that predators also "read the label" when selecting their prey.

This would probably explain why you don't see any overweight arachnids or insects.

I have a theory on that, I think some weight gain issues in humans are due to forcing the body to eat on a schedule. In nature, animals eat when they're hungry, not at "breakfast time" etc. That and what they eat isn't filled with junk. I think you should eat what your body is craving when it craves it. Not on a schedule. Eliminate the schedule, speed up the metabolism, thus maintain a healthy weight. Not too implausible of a theory if I may say.

posted on May, 28 2010 @ 10:48 PM
They have exoskeletons... can those expand like our skin can?

Is it physically possible for a spider to be fat?

posted on May, 28 2010 @ 11:22 PM
reply to post by Gamecock

I don't know, but I know there are humans with greater bone density than others. I would imagine the same could be said for an exoskeleton. Presuming that calcium is the nutriment which is required for an arachnids exoskeleton's growth that is. It's safe to say that a spiders nutrient requirement differs from that of humans.

Humans can develop scurvy from a lack of Vitamin C. I don't think spiders crave Vitamin C. None the less, this article pretty much just solidifies the complexity of life IMO.

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