Spiders are urban exploiters that thrive in the city

August 21, 2014 4:51 PM

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More than 80 percent of the United States population lives in urban and urbanizing areas, and while urbanization can have a negative impact on wildlife, some species have been found to actually thrive in urban areas. According to a recent study, golden orb-weaving spiders can be added to the list of happy city dwellers, as those living in cities were found to grow larger and be more fertile than their country counterparts.

In the study, published in PLOS One, researchers examined the effect of urbanization on Nephila plumipes, an orb weaving spider. The authors explain that while larger predators are often excluded from urban environments (mainly due to habitat loss), other “generalist predators” actually benefit from...

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