Thursday, January 14, 2010
Biologists at the University of Haifa have discovered a giant spider in the Negev desert. The spider, named Cervalus Aravensis, with a legspan of almost six inches, and about a foot long overall, is said to be the biggest spider in the Middle East.
But size is not the only thing that's unique about this nocturnal giant arachnid. It seems to be expert in home construction. It builds underground dens that are sealed off with a lifting door made of sand particles glued together to camouflage the living quarters. Considering the state of technology in Israel, it wouldn't surprise us if it used nanotechnology and electronics to open and close the door with a remote control. Now, if its yiddishe kop could be used to build settlements, things could get really interesting.
The spider lives in sand dunes at Samar in a one square mile area of the southern Arava desert. Because of increased use of the once larger sand dunes for agriculture and mining, the spider's habitat is shrinking, making the newly discovered creature one of the newest endangered species. So if it started building settlements, anyone who wanted to stop it would be interfering with the habitat of an endangered species. Now, who would want to do that?
Photo by Yael Olek/University of Haifa