Just when you thought that nothing else could make you nervous, this comes along!
I mean, this thing is UGLY! Not only UGLY, but looks pretty mean as well! Sorta reminds me of one of my ex-MIL's, ya know?
In all fairness to the bug, at least it lives in caves and isn't out running free and terrorizing poor innocent guys like me! Still, this thing is some kinda scary!
Animal with venom-filled claws discovered in Yosemite
The new species is a type of 'pseudoscorpion,' meaning it has traits that make it half-scorpion, half-spider.
By Bryan NelsonThu, Dec 02 2010 at 3:22 AM EST
New species of pseudoscorpion ARACHNOPHOBIA: Pseudoscorpions have bodies and legs like spiders, but claws like scorpions. (Photo from Texas Tech University video) Researchers have discovered a new half-scorpion, half-spider animal lurking in the dark caves of Yosemite National Park, according to Texas Tech University News.
The creature is a type of pseudoscorpion, tiny arachnids that have abdomens like spiders with eight spidery legs and claws like scorpions. Unlike real scorpions, these creatures lack a long post-abdomen stinger. Normally that would be good news, but this new species makes up for it with the addition of venom-filled claws.
Luckily the new pseudoscorpion (Parobisium yosemite) is also blind, slow-moving and very small, typically measuring no longer than about half an inch. So there's no reason to jump to cancel those summer vacation plans to Yosemite just yet.
The animal is also only found deep in dark granite caves, one of the main reasons the discovery took so long.
"The canyon where it was found was made by a glacier during an ice age millions of years ago," noted James Cokendolpher, one of the researchers who documented the find. "Through time, rubble with larger rocks would fall and create piles with caves or subterranean voids. We think that’s where this animal was trapped and evolved into the species that it is now."
Cokendolpher also said that finding the pseudoscorpion in granite caves was particularly unusual because most cave-dwelling species live in limestone caves, where better humidity and access to food makes the environment more hospitable. The new species is probably only the second pseudoscorpion ever found in a granite enclosure.
Even though they are harmless to humans, the way these tiny predatory arachnids hunt is eerie nonetheless.
"We kept them in petri dishes with plaster of Paris that was moistened so it was more like cave conditions," Cokendolpher explained to the Texas Tech University News. "When we introduced other animals into the petri dish it would go over and tap the animal [with its venom-filled claws]. When it did that, it was able to sense chemical cues there such as identification, how large the item was and whether it was something suitable to eat."
At the very least, it's enough to make even seasoned spelunkers think twice about any tap-tap they might encounter while exploring in the dark.
Now, folks, I have to be honest with you here! I don't care just how small this critter is, but if I see one close...then I'm going to make a new exit out of that cave or where ever else I'm at! As it is, I'm probably going to shake my boots out twice the next time I go to put them on! Just in case they have mistaken those boots for a cave in Yosemite, ya know? No need to take chances, I figure!
I may have trouble sleeping tonight with that image fresh in my brain! Not the bug, but the ex-mother-in-law! Scary!
Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside for a bit. Just watch for the creepy-crawlies, OK?