Pictured; Fish-Eating Spider, National Geographic:
According to a new study, spiders in 8 of the world’s 109 arachnid families can catch and consume small fish. Some of them can even subdue fish five times heavier than they are.
Each year, about 27 million tons of spiders consume somewhere between 440 million and 880 million tons of insects, new research finds. The new study, published in the journal The Science of Nature, finds that spiders’ food consumption rivals — or perhaps dwarfs — the 440 million tons (400 million metric tons) of meat and fish all the humans in world eat each year.
It’s impossible to say how many individual insects it takes to get to some 800 million U.S. tons or how many spiders put together weigh 27 million tons, Nyffeler, a senior lecturer in biology, told Live Science. There is too much variation in the estimates, he said. For example, no one knows how many juvenile (and thus smaller) spiders there are per every larger adult. A British arachnologist did estimate in 1947 that there were approximately 2.2 trillion spiders in England and Wales alone, Nyffeler noted.
The current world (human) population is 7.5 billion as of March 2017 according to the most recent United Nations estimates elaborated by Worldometers.
“The Eridanus black hole sits like a giant black spider in an ocean of nothingness, having swallowed up all surrounding galaxies, gas, and light, including radiation from the Cosmic Microwave Background.”
“It’s called trigonotarbid and, in addition to being an early relative of spiders, it was one of the first predators to walk on land.”
“When it comes to early life on land, long before our ancestors came out of the sea, these early arachnids were top dog of the food chain”, which may explain why there are such bizarre subconscious associations with spiders persisting today.
Surprisingly, they only got up to about 2 inches in size. I think most of us would have expected something much larger.