Newly-Identified Spider Rides Waves, Catches Fish
The spider is named for a Columbia University string theorist.
Newly-discovered spider named Brian rides waves to hunt prey https://t.co/siDRxX0MUV pic.twitter.com/DFVRkjb9jZ— Mashable Australia (@mashableAU) March 9, 2016
Scientists announced Wednesday that they had discovered a new species of spider that rides waves and can catch and eat much bigger prey, like fish and toads.
The spider, named dolomedes briangreenei, was unveiled at the World Science Festival in Brisbane, Australia, and was named after a festival co-founder, Columbia University professor Brian Greene, a world-renowned theoretical physicist.
The spiders are found in fresh water and hunt insects, small fish, and toads, sometimes capturing prey up to three times its size, according to Mashable Australia. The spider’s hunting technique, scientists said, was also notable.
“These spiders sit there on the water and then all of a sudden an insect will hit the water and the spider races out to get it, grabs it, dives under the water and then swims back to the shore and starts eating it,” Robert Raven, a scientist at the Queensland Museum, tells Mashable Australia.
Humans shouldn’t be worried, though. Raven says he was bitten by the spider once, but only experienced a few ill effects.
“It just stung for a little while,” he says.
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