The BBC reports on research into why some female spiders eat their male partners after sex. The article is a little confused, so I'll summarise my understanding of it here.
- The vast majority don't engage in this cannibalistic activity.
- Those that do can't be doing so for nutritional value since a male spider is surprisingly a rather poor meal compared to their more normal diet. (This bit is the new research.)
- Therefore those that routinely cannibalise their partner are doing so for reason not yet understood.
- Plenty of existing hypotheses abound, such as it being a way to reduce competition.
- This research seems to have simply attempted to knock one off that list of hypotheses.