As if spiders weren’t already disturbingly scary, now scientist announced they’ve discovered a new tarantula species – and this one has a horn on its back!
The new spider was discovered in Angola by John Midgley, an entomologist from South Africa’s KwaZulu Natal Museum. As soon as he looked at a unicorn-like arachnid, he knew this was something else. As Midgley is not a spider expert, he had to send photos of tarantula to his collaborator, Ian Engelbrecht at the University of Pretoria.
“Ian accused me of Photoshopping the pictures”, joked Midgely for National Geography. “I knew then we had discovered a new species. It’s rare to know you have something special so early in the process.”
It turned out that this Angolan tarantula was in fact seen for the first time. It was named Ceratogyrus attonitifer, which translates as “bearer of astonishment”, and researchers say it belongs to a group known as horned baboon spiders. Most members of this group have horns that are small and hard, whereas our newly discovered tarantula’s horn is as long as its abdomen and soft.
Scientists still don’t know what is the exact function of their unique horn, but they claim this peculiar spider haunts its prey at night.