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Number 16 has passed on - world's oldest known spider


Sweetheart of the Rodeo
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I've heard a lot about the spiders of Australia, so I was not surprised that the oldest one was there. Her name was Number 16, and she was a trapdoor spider who lived in the North Bungulla Reserve for 43 years.

Number 16, a trapdoor spider (Gaius villosus), was first spotted as a wee spiderling in 1974, and appeared in arachnid research surveys conducted at a site in Australia's North Bungulla Reserve, through 2016. As the years rolled by, the spider lived on — through Watergate, the release of the first IBM personal computer, and the debut of the World Wide Web.
But scientists recently discovered that Number 16 had died.
They pronounced her deceased at 43 years old, making her the longest-lived spider to date and unseating the previous record-holder — a 28-year-old tarantula in the Theraphosidae family — which lived and died in captivity...

They are interesting spiders, with the female living her entire life in one burrow. They wait behind their trapdoors and capture prey as they move by. It is amazing that a study of one spider went on for so long. You can read more here https://www.livescience.com/62452-worlds-oldest-spider-dies.html

As I searched for more info on this spider, I was amused at the articles from National Geographic and The Smithsonian. They each concluded their reports with shots at climate change and misuse of the environment. Good grief, give the lady some respect and leave the proselytizing for something else.

Hailstones Melt

Realized Sentience
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We were always told the trapdoor spider was one of the most venomous, but they have extremely tiny fangs, so it was very unlikely they could land you a smacker. Still, it wouldn't be good to be an extremely tiny insect, and walk past their trap.

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