Really, Mother Nature?: Spider With Claws Discovered

August 20, 2012

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So an entirely new family of spiders have been discovered in an Oregon cave system that have hooked, claw-like appendages on their front legs used for catching prey. It's a landmark find because it's the first new family of spiders to be discovered since 1890. Hopefully it will be the last. When reached for comment, Spider-Man had this to say, "Stop calling me Spider-Man, my name's Brian." Suuuuuuure it is, Spidey.

The genus name, Trogloraptor, means "cave robber."


It's an apt name for a spider with unique hooks, or claws, on its legs, which the researchers believe are used to snatch flying insects, like midges, out of the air. With its legs outstretched, the spider measures up to 3 inches (8 centimeters) long.

"They're biggish," Griswold said. "But when you're in a cave and it's dark and there's only the beam of your head lamp, they look much bigger. It's quite astonishing to see them hanging from a few threads."

Damn that gave me the heebie jeebies. Wandering around in a dark cave looking for spiders isn't exactly my idea of a good time. Drinking at home alone in the dark -- that's were it's at. Also, now might be a good time to make friends with an exterminator. Or anyone with a flamethrower really.

Hit the jump for the uncensored shot. WARNING: Uncensored shot.

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Thanks to jediGK, Pogonphile, LXS and Revan, who are all for conservation and biodiversity but how bad would it really be if we just blew up these caves?

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