They’re bright orange. Some think they look like a cross between a spider and a crab. And up until now, few species of these so-called “whip” spiders were thought to exist.
Scientists announced Thursday they have found eight new species of the spider in the Brazilian Amazon. That nearly doubles the number of known whip spiders in Brazil.
A study published February 17 in the science journal PLOS ONE detailed the findings. In the paper, researchers explained these new species have differences in their eyes, number of legs and even the shape of the female genitalia.
The findings appear to be more than just interesting. They could also save these species.
The authors wrote nearby human activities are threatening the new species’ habitat. Those threats include iron mining and flooding from the Belo Monte dam. The authors are now pushing for new conservation measures.