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Unusual Spider Species Passes Up Live Prey for Plants

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Vegetarianism is not exactly what springs to mind when considering spiders, which usually rely on web spinning and other finely tuned techniques to catch and eat other creatures. But one spider has now been observed to feed mostly on plants, shattering the common assumption that all spiders are strict carnivores.

Of the 40,000-plus spider species known, only a few nibble on plants—typically, as a dietary supplement of nectar or simply as an accidental ingestion of pollen. A new paper, published online today in Current Biology, details the natural history of Bagheera kiplingi, a jumping spider that has vegetarian leanings, and its interesting arrangement with a plant and the ants that protect it.
 
 

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