01 Nov '12, 8pm

Say hello to nine new species of tarantula! And now say goodbye.

Say hello to nine new species of tarantula! And now say goodbye.

Researchers have discovered nine beautiful (to non-arachnophobes) new types of tree-dwelling tarantula in eastern Brazil, more than doubling the number of known species in the area. But don’t get too attached, because basically all of them are either threatened or endangered. The nine newly described species include four from the genus Typhochlaena, which was last seen in 1850. That brings the total number of Typhochlaena species to five — of which only 40 specimens, total, have been collected. The other species are also rare and under threat, both from habitat loss and from the exotic pet trade. (What kid doesn’t want a furry blue spider for a pet? It’s like a cross between a Muppet and a nightmare.) Brazilian rainforests are epicenters of biodiversity; this influx of new tarantula types shows just how many more species there are to find. The closer we look at life in the...

Full article: http://grist.org/list/say-hello-to-nine-new-species-of-ta...

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