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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: Giant-Clawed Spider Is a 'Cave Robber'
17 August 2012 9:00 am
Cavers in the Pacific Northwest have discovered a type of spider so unusual it belongs to an entirely new lineage. Researchers describing the creature gave it a genus name—Trogloraptor, or "cave robber"—that derives from both its home habitat and its remarkable claws. First found dangling from irregular tangles of silken threads on the ceilings of a handful of caves in southwestern Oregon in 2010, the new arachnid (shown above) spans about 4 centimeters, a little larger than a silver dollar, when its legs are fully extended. Sharp, extraordinarily long claws at the tip of each leg suggest the spiders are fierce predators, but what they prey upon and how they capture it are currently unknown, the researchers report online today in ZooKeys. The discovery of these arachnids is so recent, even their full range is unclear: Researchers have since found similar spiders—juveniles either of the cave-dwelling species or a different one in the Trogloraptor lineage—inside large hollow redwood logs in the nearby forests of northwestern California.
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