If you’re scared of spiders, don’t read this post.
Seriously, don’t read this.
The great evolutionary biologist J. B. S. Haldane once wrote of “our Creator” that he “would appear as endowed with a passion … for beetles … for the simple reason that there are nearly 300,000 species of beetle known … as compared with somewhat less than 9,000 species of birds and a little over 10,000 species of mammals.”
Well, God may like beetles, he also has an inordinate fondness for spiders, for there are very, very many of them.
A pair of biological researchers, Martin Nyffeler at the University of Basel in Switzerland and Klaus Birkhofer of Lund University in Sweden, recently published some fascinating findings involving the biomass of spiders in The Science of Nature earlier this month.
If you were to add up all the spiders in the world, they would collectively weigh 29 million tons. Nyffeler and Birkhofer attempted to measure the amount of food spiders consume in a given year. As you know, spiders subsist largely on insects, but it does happen sometimes that spiders eat lizards, birds, and even small mammals.