Category Archives: predation

Modest carnivore

Shepherd’s purse seedling benefits from animal proteins Shepherd’s purse seeds derive nutrients from small animals by attracting, ensnaring, killing and digesting them, Hattie Roberts and colleagues discovered. The plant is carnivorous during early development. Most carnivorous plants have a striking … Continue reading

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Small bites, huge gulps

Thousands of copepods are ingested each day by little auk Little auks have a way to gather food that is unusual in birds, Manfred Enstipp and colleagues show. The birds feed ‘almost like a whale’, as the title of  their … Continue reading

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Collateral benefit

Bird disperses eggs of stick insects it swallowed Some stick insects are even more like plants than you might think at first glance. Just like plant seeds, the eggs can be dispersed by a bird, Kenji Suetsugu and colleagues show. … Continue reading

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Deceit, abuse and benefits

Complex relationships between arum, blowflies and lizard With its smell of rotting carrion, the dead-horse arum Helicodiceros muscivorus is irresistible to blowflies and a lizard. The blowflies will be abused, the lizard benefits. Ana Pérez-Cembranos and colleagues unraveled these complex … Continue reading

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Second hand meal

Sea slug consumes the food of its prey The diet of the pilgrim hervia Cratena peregrina, a sea slug, not only consists of the hydroids on which it lives; the animal also feeds on prey that was captured by the … Continue reading

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Saving energy

Venus flytrap controls the trapping process in several ways Carnivorous plants should control their energy budget, otherwise the benefits of capturing insects will not compensate for the costs. The Venus flytrap has several mechanisms to limit waste of energy, Andrej … Continue reading

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Floral dress

Pollinators are deceived by flower mimicking crab spider The spider Epicadus heterogaster is coloured strikingly like a flower, and bees are lured by the colour to become prey, as Camila Vieira and colleagues show. The masquerade is completed by a conspicuous abdomen, … Continue reading

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Glue-coated silk

Ground spider immobilises prey with sticky threads Many ground spiders can handle large or dangerous prey. They swathe their victims’ legs with threads that are coated with a tough glue, as Jonas Wolff and colleagues show. Ground spiders (Gnaphosidae) do … Continue reading

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Fast trapping device

Water flea has no chance against bladderwort bladders There is no escape for a water flea that hits one of the submerged suction traps of bladderwort. Within a split second, the trapdoor opens and closes and the water flea has … Continue reading

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Glow in the dark

Flashlight fish turns headlights on to catch prey It is difficult to find food in the dark. But the splitfin flashlight fish Anomalops katoptron has no problem: it turns its headlights on when it hunts on zooplankton, as Jens Hellinger … Continue reading

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