Papa Long Legs – Arachnids Arachnids, technically known as " Harvesters " – are already pretty nervous in a terrible, with their too-long limbs, jerky movements, and their habit of gathering themselves hairy mass . But researchers have recently introduced a variety of harvesters that are completely new to science.
The creature, discovered deep in a cave in Argentina, hardly looks like the familiar, lanky buddies moving across sidewalks in the summer. This arachnid sits exactly where the heebies meet the jeebies: spooky white, with slender, spiked arms. The exoskeleton is doughy; his eyes narrowed to tiny, dark freckles. If the dad with the long legs squatting in your garage is Sméagol, then this Argentine cave animal is Gollum.
Like Tolkien's famous hermit, the Harvester comes from a cave grotto, but not from the Misty Mountains in the Andes.
Cave biologist Marcela Peralta collected several arachnids between 2006 and 201
Peralta sent in the strange animals Luis Acosta, zoologist and Harvestman expert at the National University of Cordoba.
"At first glance, I thought I had young specimens in my hand," Acosta Gizmodo emailed . "Usually they are unusable for descriptive work, so I asked Marcela to try to collect a grown man & # 39 ;.
But when Acosta took a closer look, he was shocked to find that the specimens, despite their immature appearance, were adults, both male and female.
It was clear to Acosta that the Harvesters were troglobites-animals so specialized in cave life that they can no longer survive on the surface. Her permanent paleness, lack of eyes, and stretchy, grippy, delicate parts are a standard for the eons of evolution in the dark.
Other types of cave harvesters were known, but these new ones were objectively hellishly weird.
There are thousands of harvestmen and many do not look like the spindly daddy with long legs spread in the northern hemisphere. Some have giant lobster claws or thorns covered with thorns . Others – especially in South America – have stocky legs and armored bodies . Acosta believed that speleologists could be part of this latter group, but further research revealed that they were even stranger.
There were few differences between men and women, and the features of the legs and genitals did not match well-known family of cropmen. The new species, which Acosta named Otilioleptes marcelae and described in a study published last month in PLOS ONE also appears to be in a separate family.
The fact that Doña Otilia is home to harvestmen is a bit unbelievable. Above ground, the volcanic terrain is so dehydrated that it is almost "unthinkable" for a crop man to be found on the surface, Acosta said, noting that he needed humid conditions.
The speleologist could be a relic from an ancient time when the local climate was wetter and survived forever in its underground shelter. There it waited in constant silence, feeding and breeding and producing babies with smaller and smaller eyes and ever longer claws. By the time Otilioleptes forgot the warmth of the sun and the kiss of a breeze.