You never quite know what is going to happen when you work for a zoo. At the Miami zoo, this became evident recently when they discovered a new species of spider that was similar to a tarantula.
If that wasn’t bad enough, experts are saying that the spider can live for decades.
According to a Facebook post by the Zoo Miami Conservation & Research page, a spider was found at the park by a zookeeper. After gathering the spider and sending it off for analysis, they found out that a new spider was indeed discovered.
It is known as the Pine Rockland Trapdoor Spider, named because of the way that the spider captures prey. They use vegetation and soil as a “trapdoor” and hide underneath to capture unsuspecting critters.
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According to the Independent, one of the researchers who did the analysis at Piedmont College, Dr. Rebecca Godwin, said that there was not a doubt that it was a new species. There have also been numerous sightings of male spiders, with female spiders being a more rare occurrence.
Godwin said: “The individuals that zoo staff encountered were wandering males. They have a rough carapace (shell) on their front half and a silvery-grey abdomen with a light-coloured patch on top. They’re really quite beautiful spiders.”
She went on to say that it is similar to a shiny black tarantula. Those types of spiders ambush predators, creating a web by digging into the sandy substrate and using the hinged door at the surface. They might spend their entire life in that hole waiting for something to wander by. At that point, they lunge out after them, grab them, and take them in for their next meal.
Since zoo staff feels that the majority of their habitat is within the Everglades National Park in Miami-Dade County, there is a risk to the species.
The Independent reported that a spokesperson for the zoo spoke of the importance of preserving ecosystems so that these and other rare species don’t disappear without knowing it.
You can view the full study published on the spider here.Whizzco