Scientists have discovered 18 new species of spider eating pelican spiders in Madagascar.
Scientists have discovered in Madagascar a staggering 18 new species of the most bizarre create you are ever likely to see. Known as pelican spiders due to their unusual pelican-like appearance, they use their bizarre body shape to hunt other spiders.
The findings, published by researchers at the Smithsonian and the University of Copenhagen in the journal Zookeys, describe these “living fossils” with elongated necks and beaks that make them look more like pelicans than spiders. These tiny spiders are just two to six millimeters in size and are native to Madagascar, where 165 million year old fossils have been found that resemble this living creature almost exactly.
The spiders hunt at night in the rainforests of Madagascar. When these spiders find a prey spider, it jabs its long jaws into it, and the length of the jaws allows the pelican spider to keep its distance while its victim dies. This fascinating species shows the incredible species diversification on the island of Madagascar.