A remarkable new study is claiming something pretty astonishing about the eight legged creatures, and their impact on our world.
Scientists have just published a new study in the journal The Science of Nature that claims something truly staggering about spiders: they consume up to 880 million tons of insect every year. That’s hundreds of millions of bugs we don’t have to deal with on a daily basis, all thanks to 27 million tons of spiders in the world today, according to the study.
Specifically, researchers found that the spiders eat between 440 million and 880 million tons of bugs. In comparison, we humans eat about 440 million tons of meat and fish each year, so spiders may eat far more prey than we do. As further comparison, the world’s seabirds only eat 70 million tons.
Spiders are a remarkable creature, as they’re found in abundant supply in virtually any environment in the world, from deserts to forests to even the tundra in the Arctic. Scientists have identified 45,000 individual species, but there are probably many more.
“These estimates emphasize the important role that spider predation plays in semi-natural and natural habitats, as many economically important pests and disease vectors breed in those forest and grassland biomes,” says lead author Martin Nyffeler.