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Wolf spiders may turn to cannibalism in a warming Arctic

Wolf spiders in a warming Arctic are getting bigger, reproducing more and eating different foods. Including other spiders. A study conducted in Alaska suggests that as female wolf spiders become larger and produce more offspring, competition among them increases—triggering higher rates of cannibalism and reducing the number of young spiders that survive to adulthood. The new research from Washington University in St. Louis is published May 5 in the Journal of Animal Ecology. "Although cannibalism is probably not the best dietary choice for these spiders, our field and experimental data suggest that when there are lots of spiders around, they turn to cannibalism more frequently," said Amanda Koltz, a postdoctoral fellow in biology in Arts & Sciences and first author of the new study. "It's likely a reflection of increased competition among the spiders for resources."  Read more....

 

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