Taxonomically Terrific! The Wonder That Is Trogloraptor!

Posted: August 19th, 2012 in animals, biology, life, nature
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Trogloraptor spider.

Meet Trogloraptor, fearsomeness incarnate. The creature more than lives up to its name—it is, in fact, an eight-legged showcase for scientific novelty. The spider somewhat resembles the brown recluse, famed for its flesh-necrotizing venom—but at four centimeters, Trogloraptor is about twice as large. In fact, this spider is an entirely new critter—just look at those legs, each ends in a curved, scythelike claw. Citizen scientists and arachnologists have uncovered these spiders in the caves of southwestern Oregon and old-growth redwood forests. As they report in ZooKeys, the discovery of Trogloraptor is a taxonomic wonder that establishes a new family, genus and species in the spider family tree.

Troglo’s story begins with citizen scientists in the Western Cave Conservancy who spotted the strange spider in Oregon’s caves. They sent specimens to researchers at the California Academy of Sciences where entomologist Tracy Audisio, a research fellow at the California Academy of Sciences, puzzled over the new find. After approaching every member of the arachnology lab, she and Charles Griswold, the academy’s curator of arachnology, took the finding to arachnologists around the country. They combed through comparative anatomy, fossil records and genetic analyses in their efforts to place the new spider, only to conclude that the cave dweller has a totally unique lineage. […]

Daisy Yuhas

learn more, read the rest of it!

Cool, no? Weird, too. Just doesn’t look right… It’s the stance, the way the body is jutting forward from where the legs attach… dunno… just looks quite odd. Then there are those teardrop antennae and of course… the feet, er, claws! Claws?! Yep, eight of ‘em. Yikes. Good thing it’s not all that big.

It is always a treat when creatures are discovered that necessitate the rewriting of established ‘facts.’ It shows that we know so very little about the totality of the world around us. There is so much to find, so much top see, so much to learn, on every level, in every field of study… everywhere.

Let the search continue.

Peace.

Advertisements
Comments
  1. Those front teardrop-shaped antennae are sperm packette depositors, I believe. Most male spiders use them to “present” their genetic gift to the female. Gives a whole new meaning to the word, eh?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s