subject: jumping spider

A Jumping Spider That Provides Milk and Maternal Care

A Jumping Spider That Provides Milk and Maternal Care

High school science classes the world over teach that mammals are unique because females furnish their young with milk. The reality is somewhat more nuanced, and depends on your definition of milk. Indeed, there are various specialized food sources that a few non-mammals provide their offspring, among these the antibody-containing epidermal mucus found in some fish and trophic eggs in amphibians (as well as other classes of animal). In a recent issue of the journal Science, a group of researchers associated mainly with the Chinese Academy of Sciences report on the curious life of an ant-mimicking jumping spider, Toxeus magnus. They find that females of this species produce protein-rich droplets for their offspring to consume that are essential for the youngest spiders’ survival. Curiously, female offspring continue to drink this milk even after they have become sexually mature. Read More...

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