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A kind of jumping spider produces milk for their babies



Despite their creepy, crawling looks, some spider species make especially caring parents. Even more impressively, the jumping spider feeds its cubs in much the same way as mammals, feeding nutritious milk to their spiders fed with four times of the amount of protein found in cow's milk. This emerges from a study published today in the journal Science. .

Surprised? You're not alone. Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences first became interested in the strange behavior of Toxeus magnus when they noticed the spiders in the same way ants do, creating a space for several spiders simultaneously.

"This is a puzzling observation for a species that is considered non-colonial, it is possible that the jumping spider may either provide extended maternal care or delayed spread and we have decided to test it" said the author of the study Chen Zhanqi in a statement.

It was not seen that the mother spider brought food back to the nest, but her babies kept growing. The team did what any responsible scientist would do and grabbed a couple of microscopes. On closer inspection, they could see droplets of nutrient-rich fluid "leaking out of the epigastric groove of the mother" ̵

1; a specially developed sexual organ located on the abdomen. Mom would drop those milk droplets in the nest where their babies could come and soak them up. After the first week, she stopped dropping the droplets and allowed the spiders to suck directly from her. When the researchers blocked milk production, the spiders stopped growing and died, demonstrating their "complete dependence on milk supply".

Read More: Everything You Need About & # 39; Cockroach Milk & # 39; spiders were at least 20 days old, at which point spiders can look for themselves and, at the same time, spiders are able to look for themselves – and the protein rich milk alternative that some can not wait to get their hands on.

generally took until the spiders reached their age at the age of about 40 days. During this time, Mother was also seen caring for the nest and helping her babies throw their exoskeletons (aw, cute).

portioid / iNaturalist CC BY-SA 4.0

In breast milk and breast milk, more than three quarters of hatched offspring survived to adulthood and reached normal height. Although Mother treated all of her babies the same, she did not allow her daughters to return to the nest after sexual maturity. Adult sons were attacked when they tried to get home, probably to reduce the inbreeding likelihood.

Lactation is a trait associated with mammals – why should arachnids develop such a trait? The researchers suspect that this is likely due to the risk of predators, insecure access to food and survival in harsh living environments. And if spiders do it, what else?

"Our results show that mammal-like milk supply and parental care for sexually mature offspring were also developed in invertebrates," Chen said. "We expect that our results will lead to a reassessment of lactation development and extended parental care and their occurrence in the animal kingdom."

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