50 New Spiders Discovered In Australia
It's probably safe to say that most people don't like spiders. But for those that do this list of 50 new spiders discovered in Australia is sure to make you happy. With new spiders that are capable of diving, dancing and jumping and one the size of a human face, being among the new species discovered. During a two-week spider research mission in the Australian bush, a team of 23 scientists and rangers identified 50 new species of spiders.
Robert Raven is one of the four arachnologists on the expedition, and he said that the diversity of the new spiders found was nothing short of mind-blowing. The new spiders found include everything from the size of a fingernail to enormous new tarantulas whose legs could span the width of a human face. The new spiders were found on the Cape York Peninsula, in northern Queensland, Australia. One of the new species of spiders found is a peacock spider, which has scientists particularly excited because it displays an elaborate dance to attract females. Other notable new species include a spider that mimics the behavior of ants and new spiders that dive beneath the surface of the water. Raven also discovered an aquatic variety of spider he was waist-deep in a creek in the middle of the night. Discussing his findings with Australian Geographic, Raven noted that these spiders are capable of staying underwater for long periods of time and that the research team plans to study the DNA of this species closely.
This research effort was part of an expedition called the Bush Blitz and was funded by the Australian government and private entities BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities and Earthwatch. Some 1,200 new species have been discovered by the research team since it began. The 50 recently discovered new spiders puts the number of new spider species found in Australia by the Bush Blitz at 201 since 2010 when the program began. There are at least 3,500 known spider species in Australia, but it is estimated that numbers run as high as 15,000 that have yet to be identified. In an interview with the Guardian Australia, Barbara Baehr from the Queensland Museum said that Australia's abundance of new spiders is likely attributed to the region's ecological richness and a successful wet season. The research push is working to identify some new species in the Australian bush by partnering with the indigenous rangers who have a unique understanding of the area. In turn, the Rangers gain a more scientific understanding of the land they manage. The Cape York area now boasts one of the highest concentrations of spiders in all of Australia, which is prompting the Bush Blitz researchers to deem the area the spider capital of the country.
The region of Queensland in which the new spiders were found is known as Quinkan Country. Australia's Department of Environment and Energy is reviewing Quinkan Country for its inclusion on the National Heritage List. The designation recognizes the regions with outstanding heritage value. Researchers from the Bush Blitz team hope that the abundance of new species discovered will help push the government to protect the region. Brad Grogan, who is a manager of the Western Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation, hopes that the region will be more recognized for its biodiversity. And Grogan hopes that this expedition will help them to identify the areas of natural values that they can protect for the future. This is just one of the trending news stories you will find on the National Geographic site. On the site, you will find all sorts of trending news from around the world. You will find new stories, new trend stories, photos of the day and more on the site. **
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