Saturday, August 18, 2012

Rare Hook-Legged Spider Discovered in Oregon Cave

Trogloraptor marchingtoni, a.k.a. Hook-Legged Spider

Scientists recently discovered a rare "hook-legged" spider in the caves of southern Oregon. This species is apparently so rare that it even has a taxonomic genus and family to itself: Trogloraptor marchingtoni. According to the Neatorama website where I first came across this not-so-little cutie (their leg span measures up to 3" in diameter), the spider is named after Neil Marchington (a member of the Western Cave Conservancy who first discovered it)... and Trogloraptor means "cave robber".

Close-up of Trogloraptor marchingtoni's "Hook-Leg" 

According to Neatorama, researchers believe that the spiders have evolved to have hooks - or claws (as can be seen in the above photo) - on their legs, in order to catch flying insects for supper. 

All hail evolution in its infinite, bumbling wisdom. :-D

[Link to Neatorama article]

[Link to in-depth article on ourAmazingplanet website]

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