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Spiders eat 800 million tons of prey a year


Posted on Wednesday, 15 March, 2017 | Comment icon 23 comments

Spiders are adept at keeping the world's insect population in check. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Opoterser
New research has revealed that spiders eat twice as much animal prey as humans do each year.
According to a study by Swiss and Swedish zoologists, the much maligned arachnids, which collectively weigh around 25 million tons, get through up to 800 million tons of insects a year.

Humans, by contrast, eat only 400 million tons of meat and fish in a twelve-month period.

The findings demonstrate that spiders are one of the world's most voracious predators with their annual intake even exceeding that of whales which eat up to 500 million tons of prey a year.

"Our calculations let us quantify for the first time on a global scale that spiders are major natural enemies of insects," said lead researcher Dr Martin Nyffeler.

"In concert with other insectivorous animals such as ants and birds, they help to reduce the population densities of insects significantly."

"Spiders thus make an essential contribution to maintaining the ecological balance of nature."

Source: Telegraph | Comments (23)

Tags: Spiders

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #14 Posted by newbloodmoon on 19 March, 2017, 14:19
Cool story, cooler looking spider.
Comment icon #15 Posted by ChaosRose on 19 March, 2017, 14:37
Except for those jumping spiders, which actually manage to be cute, I have to hold myself back from saying kill it with fire. That said, I understand how important they are. As terrifying as I find them, I don't kill any. I make sure they get a safe trip outside.   
Comment icon #16 Posted by seeder on 29 March, 2017, 14:38
 
Comment icon #17 Posted by sees on 29 March, 2017, 14:41
Key word there is 'thereotically'....
Comment icon #18 Posted by Grandpa Greenman on 29 March, 2017, 14:48
Oh XenoFish....   hehehe
Comment icon #19 Posted by Stiff on 29 March, 2017, 15:01
Well they'd only be getting their own back... 
Comment icon #20 Posted by Lilly on 29 March, 2017, 17:41
Good Grief...Spiders do not eat humans. However...Spiders do eat insects. So, let's all just imagine how many insects we'd have to deal with if all the spiders went 'bye-bye' Now there you'd have a horrifying scenario.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Future ghost on 29 March, 2017, 18:32
Ok, this one is kinda cute.
Comment icon #22 Posted by spartan max2 on 29 March, 2017, 18:37
Spiders are the best
Comment icon #23 Posted by Lilly on 29 March, 2017, 19:39
I just LOVE that adorable peacock spider!


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