If there’s one thing you can count on Australia for, it’s the country’s wondrously terrifying wildlife. Some of the world’s rarest and most fascinating creatures have been found there, and the latest discovery is no different. Just under a trapdoor made of silk and soil outside of Brisbane, a gigantic variety of spider, dubbed Euoplos dignitas, has been discovered. Needless to say, many people will be having nightmares now.
New species of spider discovered, Euplos dignitashttps://t.co/Ys3bk9nnPf
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- Researchers at Queensland Museum’s Project DIG were the ones to discover Euoplos dignitas. The program has been running for the past four years, with scientists looking to learn more about biodiversity in the state. They likely never expected to find a whole new (and gigantic!) species of spider.
- The size of the spider is most impressive to Dr. Michael Rix. Dr. Rix is the lead researcher on the project and he was shocked by how large Euplos dignitas actually is. He says this variety of trapdoor spider can live for about 20 years and could grow as large as a 50-cent piece. “It’s very big for a trapdoor spider. The females of this species can get up to five centimeters in body length,” he said, per The Guardian.
- This species of spider may be in danger. Dr. Rix worries that the population may be relatively small given the limited area in which Euplos dignitas is found. However, a paper about the discovery published in the Journal of Arachnology, remarks on the importance of its role in keeping the population of several kinds of insects under control.
- One good thing? They’re not dangerous to humans. It’s worth noting that while there are some venomous spiders out there that can cause serious harm to humans, that’s not the case with Euplos dignitas. Their venom is only dangerous to the insects they target as prey. “The bite might be physically painful because of their size, but they’re not dangerous,” Dr. Rix explained.
Wildlife can be really intimidating, and it’s become quite normal to be “scared” of certain species. However, pretty much every creature on this planet plays a special role in the ecosystem and deserves respect and care rather than fear.