Scientists mourn the death of 43-year-old spider
- Author: Adam Floyd May 01, 2018,
May 01, 2018, 4:19
Australia is known for its deadly array of spiders, but now researchers have discovered it is also home to the world's longest-living spider. The trapdoor, which researchers dubbed "no. 16", The Telegraph reported, lived in the Central Wheatbelt region of Western Australia.
A typical danger in Australia is homeowners finding what they believe to be dead spiders in their swimming pools, which can then rear up and attack when removed. Althought, the spider didn't die of old age, but was killed by a wasp sting, researchers said Monday.
Trapdoor spiders traditionally have a life span between five to 20 years.
That makes her 15 years older than the previous spider-longevity record holder, a 28-year-old tarantula found in Mexico.More news: Russia: Chemical weapons inspectors head to Syria site
A funnel web spider raises its legs at the Australian Reptile Park January 23, 2006 in Sydney, Australia.
Trapdoor spiders get their name from the doors they make for their burrows.
Trapdoor spiders may look a bit intimidating but they pose no danger to humans. They have bodies that can stretch longer than an inch and legs that reach much further. Female trapdoor spiders do not venture too far away from their burrows and use it as a way to protect their eggs until they hatch.
The team at Curtin University continued Barbara's research, now aged 88, and were able to gather information regarding the spider's age, cause of death, and a better understanding of its life history.
"These spiders exemplify an approach to life in ancient landscapes, and through our ongoing research we will be able to determine how the future stresses of climate change and deforestation will potentially impact the species", Associate Professor Wardell-Johnson said.