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Amazing! Spiders have pets!

I learned something new today. Something which totally baffled me. I learned that spiders (which I kinda see as “pets”) actually have pets. Mind = Blown!

Animal pets

Okay, they’re not unique. I already new that ants live in a symbiotic relationship with some sort of lice. The lice eat the juices from a plant and secrete some fluid, which the ants like. In return, the ants protect the lice. It’s a win-win situation, which kinda resembles agriculture.

But it gets better.

You know how back in the day (well, still) farmers would store their produce in a shed? And how this would attract mice, rats and other vermin? Farmers came up with a simple solution: house cats. We (you know, us humans) basically made a deal: you get to hunt in our shed, eat all the mice you can get, and in return we will take care of you.

A similar contract was “signed” between large spiders (such as the Tarantula) in areas like Peru, India and Sri Lanka and “microhylid frogs”. This is rather surprising, as the spiders are large enough to eat the frogs. Scientists actually observed spiders grabbing a frog and -after examination- setting them free! So why don’t they hunt them? Why do they keep them as pet?

Well, as with humans and cats, it is a mutually beneficial deal. Frogs eat ants. Co├»ncidentally, ants love to eat spider eggs. They are actually the main “Cause of Death” for unhatched eggs. So instead of eating these little frogs, the spiders somehow recognize that the frogs are protecting their offspring. In return, the spiders protect the frog.

I mean, seriously, isn’t that one of the coolest things ever?

Read more about this awesome bit of animals keeping pets on ScienceBlogs.com

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