Chinese scientists first discover spider species breastfeeding, nursing

admin   •   December 3, 2018   •   5950

 

Spider babies eating milk on bellies of spider mothers | REUTERS

Chinese scientists discovered a spider species that feeds their babies with milk as mammals, marking the first time humans discovering invertebrates breastfeeding and nursing theirs offspring, said Chinese Academy of Sciences Friday.

Breastfeeding is a unique animal behavior to mammals, including humans. This type of spider, commonly known as big ant spider, discovered with “breastfeeding behavior”, belongs to Myrmarachne of Salticidae, which is a spider species widely distributed in the tropical and subtropical regions of East and Southeast Asia.

“Spider babies which just hatched out clime up on spider moms’ bellies, to eat a kind of liquid (secreted by spider moms), which was tested to be milk containing four times the protein of cow’s milk. We call it spider milk,” said Chen Zhanqi, a post doctor from Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Researchers found after long-term observation that the newly hatched spider babies feed themselves entirely with the milk in the first 20 days after birth, during which they grow as big as half of their mothers. From 20 to 40 days, spider babies go out looking for food by themselves, while also eating milk from their mothers. This period is a transition for weaning.

The study also found that spider babies don’t leave their mothers after weaning, and continue to stay with them in nests, even after they grow up. This kind of spider will take care of its grown-up offspring, which is seen as a long parental behavioral mode. This mode was once thought to only exist in the social vertebrates with long lifespan.

Experts believe that this breakthrough discovery has extremely important significance for the research on revolution of breastfeeding behavior for contemporary animals. — Reuters

UK says China’s security law is “clear violation” of Hong Kong treaty

UNTV News   •   July 2, 2020

The United Kingdom said on Wednesday (July 1) that China’s imposition of a security law on Hong Kong was a “clear and serious” violation of the 1984 Joint Declaration and called on the People’s Republic to honor its international obligations.

“We have very carefully now assessed the contents of this national security legislation since it was published last night,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Reuters and the BBC.

“It constitutes a clear violation of the autonomy of Hong Kong, and a direct threat to the freedoms of its people, and therefore I’m afraid to say it is a clear and serious violation of the Joint Declaration treaty between the United Kingdom and China.”

Raab said he would set out shortly the action Britain would take with its international partners.

Hong Kong’s autonomy was guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” agreement enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration signed by then Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997 after more than 150 years of British rule – imposed after Britain defeated China in the First Opium War. (Reuters)

(Production: Will Russell, Hanna Rantala, Polly Rider)

Hong Kong marks handover anniversary as national security law takes effect

UNTV News   •   July 1, 2020

Hong Kong on Wednesday (July 1) held a flag-raising ceremony followed by a speech by Chief Executive Carrie Lam to mark the 23rd anniversary of the former British colony’s handover to Chinese rule, hours after new national security legislation took effect in the financial hub.

“The enactment of the national law is regarded as the most significant development in the relationship between the Central Authorities and the HKSAR since Hong Kong’s return to the Motherland”, the city’s embattled leader said the law was the most important development since the city’s return to Beijing in 1997.

Flanked by current and previous government officials, Lam also said the new law would only affect a small group of people in the Asian financial capital.

There was a heavy presence of law enforcement across the city as the ceremony was underway.

The contentious law will punish crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison, heralding a more authoritarian era for China’s freest city.

Authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong have repeatedly said the legislation is aimed at a few “troublemakers” and will not affect rights and freedoms, nor investor interests. (Reuters)

(Production: Aleksander Solum)

Hong Kong leader says not afraid of sanctions, no comment on security law

UNTV News   •   June 30, 2020

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam refused to respond to any queries on Hong Kong’s national security legislation on Tuesday (June 30) after local media, citing unidentified sources, said the law was passed unanimously by China’s top decision-making body.

The legislation pushes Beijing further along a collision course with the United States, Britain and other Western governments, which have said it erodes the high degree of autonomy the global financial hub was granted at its July 1, 1997 handover.

The United States began eliminating Hong Kong’s special status under U.S. law on Monday, halting defence exports and restricting the territory’s access to high technology products.

“No sanctions will not scare us, we also are mentally prepared and, if necessary, the country will take responsive action. On foreign diplomacy, any actions taken by the central government, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s government will fully comply,” Carrie Lam told reporters at her weekly news conference.

A draft of the law has yet to be published. Beijing says the law, which comes in response to last year’s often-violent pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, aims to tackle subversion, terrorism, separatism, and collusion with foreign forces. (Reuters)

(Production: Pak Yiu)

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