Spiders Gobble Gargantuan Numbers of Tiny Prey
By Steve Mirsky on April 3, 2017


By now, you may have heard about a study that came out a couple of weeks ago about spiders. The study got a lot of attention because coverage of the research often focused on the idea that spiders could eat every single person on the planet in a year and still find room for a lot of cows and elephants and such. In other words, spiders need a lot of meat. Fortunately, the food of choice for the overwhelming majority of spiders is other arthropods(節肢動物), mostly insects and another type of tiny critter called springtails(彈尾蟲).
目前為止,你應該聽過兩個星期前發表(came out)的一篇關於蜘蛛的論文,這份研究引起大家的注意,因為這份調研涵蓋的內容(coverage )焦點通常放在地球上的蜘蛛一年內可以吃掉全部人類,而且還有多餘胃口(find room for )可以吃一大堆牛、大象之類的。換句話講,蜘蛛要吃很多的肉,幸好,絕大多數的蜘蛛選擇的食物是其它的節肢動物,多半是昆蟲和其他稱為彈尾蟲的小東西(critter)。

Anyway, the study - which never mentions spiders eating all the world’s people - was done by Martin Nyffeler at the University of Basil(瑞士巴賽爾大學) in Switzerland and Klaus Birkhofer of Lund University (瑞典隆德大學) and Germany’s Brandenburg University of Technology(德國布蘭登堡科技大學). 
Places with plenty of spiders. Because most places are places with plenty of spiders. The write-up in the April issue of the journal The Science of Nature concluded that the world’s spider population weighs some 25 million tons. Now, your average spider only weighs an itty-bit(小不點), so if you do the calculation you get a total worldwide population of some eleventy(一百一十) gazillion(海量) spiders. More or less. But the 25 million tons of spiders is a real number, derived from other published studies, dating as far back as 1951.
總之,這份研究沒有提到吃光全世界人類這件事,作者是瑞士巴賽爾大學的馬丁奈佛勒(Martin Nyffeler)和瑞典隆德大學/德國布蘭登堡科技大學的克勞斯勃克厚福(Klaus Birkhofer)。
有很多蜘蛛的地方,因為大部分地方都有很多的蜘蛛,四月份發行的自然科學期刊的評論(write-up)總結說,全世界蜘蛛的總重量大約是兩千五百萬公噸,而(now)你們家普通蜘蛛(average spider)不過是小不點(itty-bit)的體重,如果計算,全球蜘蛛總量,或多或少(more or less),大約是一百一十個(eleventy)宇宙無敵大數目(gazillion),但是,兩千五百萬公噸是一個真實的數字,從其它已經刊登的研究所得到,遠遠追溯到(dating as far back as )1951年。

The researchers then estimated how much weight in food that much weight of spiders would need. And they also went through many other studies that had estimated how much spiders ate in particular habitats, ranging from tropical forests to farms. Once they crunched all those arthropods, the intrepid spider speculators reached their verdict: spiders snatch between 400 million and 800 million tons of meat annually.
研究人員估計總重量這麼龐大的蜘蛛要吃掉多重的食物,他們同時翻遍(went through)需多其它研究,關於蜘蛛在某特定棲息地要吃調多少東西,從熱帶森林到農場,就在牠們喀喳咬光(crunch)全部的節肢動物時,這些勇於(intrepid, 無比勇敢的)推測的蜘蛛學者(speculators)做出最後判決(reached their verdict),蜘蛛一年奪走(snatch)四億到八億噸的肉。

So if you see a spider—and there’s almost certainly a bunch in your home right now—you could stomp it. Or you could gently put it outside. Or you could wish it bon appétit! And leave it to dine on the other stuff you probably want in your home even less.
所以如果你見到一隻蜘蛛,現在保證你家就有一票,你可以重重踩死它(stomp it),也可以輕輕把它放到外面,也可以請它慢慢享用(wish it bon appétit),隨他們(leave it)吃(dine on)那些你更不希望家裡看到的東西。


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