Humans beware: if the world’s present population of spiders ever get organized, they could eat us all in just 12 months.
Chris Murphy writes: That’s the shock new finding from a piece of research that is set to give everyone nightmares.
At the moment, spiders mostly eat insects, although some of the larger species have been known to snack on lizards, birds and even small mammals.
But in a report published in the Washington Post, experts said that if you add up the weight of all the food eaten by the world’s entire spider population in a single year is more than the combined weight of every human on the planet.
Martin Nyffeler of the University of Basel in Switzerland and Klaus Birkhofer of Lund University in Sweden and the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg in Germany, published their findings in the journal Science of Nature this month.
They discovered spiders across the globe consume between 440.9 and 881.8 million tons of prey in any given year.
That means that spiders eat at least as much meat as all seven billion humans on the planet combined, who the authors note consume about 400 million tonnes of meat and fish each year. … (read more)