The world's oldest known spider was killed after living to the ripe old age of 43. Per Fox News, the female trapdoor spider was killed by a parasitic wasp in October after she was studied by scientists starting at her birth in 1974. The findings were published in a study in Pacific Conservation Biology Journal, per a statement from Curtin University in Western Australia. According to Phys.org, researchers believe the spiders can survive so long in the Australian outback thanks to their slow metabolism, distance from humans and sedentary nature. Dubbed "Number 16" by the study, this particular female lived her entire life in a single burrow that was extremely close to the place of her birth.
Per the Curtin University release, Number 16 outlived the previous record holder, a captive tarantula in Mexico, by some 13 years. "To our knowledge this is the oldest spider ever recorded, and her significant life has allowed us to further investigate the trapdoor spider's behaviour and population dynamics," lead author Leanda Mason said in a statement. The spider's death not only breaks the record for the world's oldest spider, but also demonstrates that long-term research is essential to understand how different species live in the Australian environment, the release said. The study The longest-lived spider: mygalomorphs dig deep, and persevere can be read in its entirety here. (Read more spiders stories.)