Fierce New Spider Species Discovered in the Pacific Northwest
This is cool:
The forests of the coastal regions from California to British Columbia are renowned for their unique and ancient animals and plants, such as coast redwoods, tailed frogs, mountain beavers and the legendary Bigfoot (also known as Sasquatch). Whereas Bigfoot is probably just fiction, a huge, newly discovered spider is very real. Trogloraptor (or “cave robber”) is named for its cave home and spectacular, elongate claws. It is a spider so evolutionarily special that it represents not only a new genus and species, but also a new family (Trogloraptoridae). Even for the species-rich insects and arachnids, to discover a new, previously unknown family is an historic moment.
Trogloraptor hangs beneath rudimentary webs on cave ceilings. It is about four centimeters wide when its legs are extended — larger than the size of a half-dollar coin. Their extraordinary, raptorial claws suggest that they are fierce, specialized predators, but their prey and attack behavior remain unknown.
The true distribution of Trogloraptor remains unknown: that such a relatively large, peculiar animal could elude discovery until 2012 suggests that more may be lurking in the forests and caves of western North America.
Notice the claw on the second leg from the bottom on the right side of the spider above.
It’s a beautiful spider.
Go here to learn more and to see a bigger picture (click on the one shown to enlarge it).
Entry filed under: Animals (Other Than Us).