Poisonous Spiders Prefer Dead Food

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Poisonous spiders prefer dead food, as described in Nature, vol 426, p30, 6 November 2003. Jamel Sandidge of the University of Kansas has studied the feeding habits of Brown Recluse spiders, and was surprised to find that they preferred to scavenge on dead critters in spite of having a deadly venom that quickly paralyses prey. Sandidge placed spiders in plastic boxes and gave them a variety of dead and live specimens of their normal prey (mostly insects). He found the spiders ate the dead prey, sometimes ignoring the live insects to the point of allowing the insects to walk over them. He even observed spiders moving away from potential live prey. In his article Sandige make some general comments about spider diets including this throwaway line: "Some spiders also supplement their diets with unusual food sources such as pollen, nectar and insect eggs."

Editorial Comment: These observations and experiments are good evidence the spider venom was not originally designed to kill things, even though it can. It also supports the Biblical concept that all animals were originally vegetarian. The good world God originally created has been corrupted and many animals, including spiders, have found their built in characteristics, such as chemical secretions, can be directed at obtaining non-vegetarian food or protecting them from attack by other corrupt animals, even though this was not their original purpose. (Ref. spiders, venom, diets)

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