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New Study Shows Exactly Why We Should All Love (Or At Least Tolerate) Spiders

Story from: 2oceansvibe.com

Give me a spider over a snake, arthropod or crab any day.

Sure, I might have just listed my fears (and you now have info on how to basically torture me if the time comes), but in seriousness, my reactions to any of those specimens are not half as bad as some people’s reaction to the sudden appearance of a spider.

I have seen grown men’s skin crawl at the very sight of an arachnid, which resulted in it quickly being killed.

You see, in a year, a spider can devour up to 800 million tonnes of prey. This might make them one of the world’s most voracious predators, but then again, most of their victims are insects.

(Although the largest tropical spiders do make a meal of vertebrates such as frogs, lizards, fish and small mammals, but that’s in the tropics.)

There is so much more information where this came from, so here are some more facts about spiders for the next time the person you are on a date with has a minor interest in them.

Below from New Scientist:

There are more than 45,000 species of spiders living in all parts of the world with a collective weight of about 25 million tonnes.

Together they kill between 400 million and 800 million tonnes of prey annually, a team of Swiss and Swedish scientists has calculated.

In comparison, all the humans on Earth consume about 400 million tonnes of meat and fish each year, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation.

The appetite of spiders even exceeds that of whales, which get through an estimated 280 million to 500 million tons of prey a year.

They eat more meat and fish every year than humans – wow. Remember that next time you’re wondering why you’ve escaped pretty mosquito bite fee this summer.

Martin Nyffeler, from the University of Basel in Switzerland, had some things to say:

Our calculations let us quantify for the first time on a global scale that spiders are major natural enemies of insects. 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.

Do you hear that, spider murderers? They are essential. E-ssen-tial.

[source:newscientist]

This post is from 2oceansvibe.com. Click here to read the full text

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