Spiders eat up to 880 million tons of insects each year
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. Weight loss meme Spider prey consumption is similar to the amount of food that all whale species ( Cetacea) eat annually, which has been pegged at between 300 million and 550 million tons (280 million and 500 million metric tons), biologist Martin Nyffeler of the University of Basel in Switzerland and ecologist Klaus Birkhofer of the Brandenburg University of Technology in Germany wrote in their paper.
“By contrast, the annual food consumption of all the world’s seabirds is estimated at 70 million tons,” the researchers wrote. Signs of losing weight [ Creepy, Crawly, Incredible: Photos of Spiders]
Spiders are a very successful group of arthropods. The best diet plan to lose weight They’re found everywhere from deserts to grasslands to forests to Arctic tundra. Paleo diet rules and guidelines More than 45,000 individual species have been identified so far, Nyffeler and Birkhofer wrote. Diet plan to gain weight in 1 month Scientists estimate that there are around 131 spiders per every square meter of land on the globe, and in some places up to 1,000 individuals in that area (about the size of a single mattress).
With a few rare exceptions, spiders are carnivores, but it’s hard to directly measure their impact on their prey because spiders often hunt at night or in nooks and crannies that are difficult to observe, the researchers wrote. How to lose weight yahoo To estimate how much spiders eat, then, the researchers had to start by figuring out how much spider tonnage is out there.
A jumping spider ( Phidippus mystaceus) feeds a tree-dwelling moth caterpillar. 5 week weight loss Credit: David E. Exercise calorie calculator heart rate Hill/Peckham Society, Simpsonville, South Carolina
To estimate spider biomass (essentially, the weight of all the spiders in the world), the researchers drew from published data on spider biomass from tropical forests, temperate forests, tropical grasslands, temperate grasslands and shrublands, agricultural land, deserts and Arctic tundra. Exercise tips They then used global land cover for each type of environment to estimate the total weight of spiders on the globe, arriving at 25 million metric tons (about 27 million U.S. Detox weight loss diet 3 day tons).
To figure out how much food it takes to keep 27 million tons of spiders creeping and crawling, the researchers used two methods. Lose weight fast diet In the first, they simply estimated the food needs of a spider per the spider’s mass. Diet plan for abs male For most spiders, they pegged this at around 0.1 milligram of food per milligram of spider, or about 10 percent of a spider’s body weight, each day. 3 day diet plan For desert spiders, which live notoriously spartan lives, the researchers used estimates of between 0.01 and 0.04 milligrams of food per milligram of spider.
This method led to a range of between 507 million and 772 million U.S. I beam weight calculator tons (460 million and 700 million metric tons of prey a year).
The second method involved extrapolating from data taken from the field in which scientists actually counted the number of insects spiders ate. Paleo gingerbread cookies This method led to an estimate of between 435 million and 887 million U.S. 5 bite diet plan tons (395 million and 805 million metric tons).
Insects and springtails (collembolans) make up about 90 percent of spiders’ prey, the researchers wrote. How to lose weight video A few large species eat worms and small vertebrates, like birds or bats (or even snakes). How to lose weight vegan Forest and grassland spiders are responsible for 95 percent of the prey kill each year, in part because these areas contain the most ground cover and in part because these habitats aren’t frequently disturbed. Weight loss success stories men Spiders living in agricultural fields, for example, have to contend with human activities and pesticides. Paleo juice [ Goliath Birdeater: Images of a Colossal Spider]
It’s impossible to say how many individual insects it takes to get to some 800 million U.S. How to lose water weight tons or how many spiders put together weigh 27 million tons, Nyffeler, a senior lecturer in biology, told Live Science. Paleo diet breakfast muffins There is too much variation in the estimates, he said. To lose weight how many calories For example, no one knows how many juvenile (and thus smaller) spiders there are per every larger adult. Pregnancy and exercise ball A British arachnologist did estimate in 1947 that there were approximately 2.2 trillion spiders in England and Wales alone, Nyffeler noted.
The only other group of arthropods that can compete with spiders, pound-for-pound, are ants, Nyeffeler and Birkhofer wrote, but ants are not overwhelmingly carnivorous like spiders are.
“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,” the researchers wrote. Paleo 360 “We hope that these estimates and their significant magnitude raise public awareness and increase the level of appreciation for the important global role of spiders in terrestrial food webs.”
Stephanie interned as a science writer at Stanford University Medical School, and also interned at ScienceNow magazine and the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Protein diet un She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Slow carb diet menu Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor