Friday, August 22, 2014

Human Cities Are Creating Giant Spiders

Researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia have found that some breeds of spiders actually grow larger and have more offspring when they live in an urban environment, compared to the wilderness.

They studied spiders around Sydney and found that in more densely populated areas, the spiders were larger.

Another result of the study found that in areas with lots of hard surfaces like concrete, the female spiders had larger ovaries.

Larger ovary weight was also found in areas where the residents were found to be wealthier.

The authors of the study wrote: “The increased expenditure and management of parks in wealthy suburbs could result in healthier vegetation patches, which would increase prey abundance and allow spiders to grow larger and build up fat reserves.”

One theory of why the spiders are bigger in the city is the urban heat island effect, which says that urban areas are warmer from heat absorbed by all the concrete surfaces.

The higher temperatures would then cause spiders and other insects to grow larger.

Another theory is that the streetlights in the city at night attract more insects for the spiders to eat.

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