Meet 'Cave Robber,' Newly Discovered US Spider

It lives in the Northwest and has oversized claws

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 18, 2012 8:27 AM CDT

(Newser) – The first new spider species discovered in North America in more than 110 years has been found in the caves of the Pacific Northwest, reports the Telegraph. The Trogloraptor, or "cave robber" spider, measures about three inches long when outstretched and is seen as a "fierce, specialized predator," according to the Los Angeles Times. "For a spider, this is a pretty big one," says arachnologist Charles Griswold, who compared the discovery to finding a spider Bigfoot. "It has remarkable claws and feet which are like scythes or hooks. We think these work to snap and trap their prey."

Much is still a mystery about these newly discovered spiders, although scientists think the Trogloraptor evolved separately from more commonly known spiders thanks to their remote cave locations. "If such a large and bizarre spider could have gone undetected for so long, who knows what else may lurk undiscovered in this remarkable part of the world," says the study. You can read the original journal article at ZooKeys.

The claw of a new family of spider, the Trogloraptor, or cave robber. A group of amateur spelunkers found it in a cave outside Grants Pass, Ore.   (AP Photo/Calfornia Academy of Sciences)
This photo from a cave outside Grants Pass, Ore., shows a specimen of a new family of spiders, which scientists are calling Cave Robber (Trogloraptor marchingtoni) for its fearsome claws.   (AP Photo/Brent McGregor)
A cave robber spider, named for its fearsome claws. Amateur cave explorers found the spider in a cave outside Grants Pass, Ore., and sent specimens to the California Academy of Sciences.   (AP Photo/California Academy of Sciences)
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