Scientists found a spider that produces milk.
A team at the Chinese Academy of Sciences identified a species of Taiwanese jumping spider that secretes a milk-like substance to feed its babies.
The spider produces milk that contains four times more protein than milk from dairy cows. It is secreted from the mother’s epigastric furrow, an opening from which the mother also lays its eggs. The mother also leaves droplets of milk around the nest for the hatchling to drink as they begin moving around.
Lactation is known to be exclusive to mammals, though animals like the pigeon and flamingo are exceptions to the rule — cockroaches even produce milk-like crystals.
The spider hatchlings typically drink the milk for approximately 40 days, during which they learn to forage and nearly reach their sexual maturity.
“[This study] will help researchers gain a better understanding of the evolution process of milk provisioning and parental care for sexually mature offspring across the animal kingdom,” Nick Royle, Exeter University’s senior lecturer in the behavioral ecology stated.