Australian spider named after David Attenborough

Aug 04, 2012
File photo shows British scientist and broadcaster David Attenborough in London in November 2011. A newly discovered Australian spider measuring little more than a millimetre in length has been named after Attenborough, reports said Saturday.

A newly discovered Australian spider measuring little more than a millimetre in length has been named after celebrated British scientist and broadcaster David Attenborough, reports said Saturday.

The minuscule arachnid, which is found only on Horn Island, in Australia's Torres Strait, was named prethopalpus attenboroughi by its discoverers, according to Alec Coles, head of the Western Australian Museum.

"Prethopalpus is commonly known as a goblin , making this species Attenborough's goblin spider," ABC reported Coles as saying.

Attenborough was presented with the honour at a ceremony in Perth where he was given a framed picture of the spider.

Coles said Attenborough, 86, was chosen for his love of nature and renowned ability to make science accessible over a career spanning six decades.

"It is incredible that in the 21st century our scientists are still documenting and describing so many new species," said Coles.

It's not the first time the naturalist has received such an honour -- a 380-million-year-old fossil found in in 2008 of a prehistoric mother fish was named materpiscis attenboroughi.

Explore further: The ABC's of animal speech: Not so random after all

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fossil fish shows oldest live birth

Feb 25, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- A 380-million-year-old fossil fish that shows an unborn embryo and umbilical cord has been discovered, scientists report in the journal Nature.

Largest spider fossil found in China

Apr 21, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- According to Paul Selden, the director of the Paleontological Institute at the University of Kansas, he and his team members have discovered the largest spider fossil. The fossil was discovered ...

Flying jewels spell death for baby spiders

Mar 02, 2012

Spider flies are a rarely collected group of insects. Adults are considered important pollinators of flowers, while larvae live as internal parasitoids of juvenile spiders. Eight genera are recorded in Aust ...

Spectacular discoveries in New Guinea

Jun 27, 2011

A frog with fangs, a blind snake and a round-headed dolphin are among more than 1,000 new species recently found on the incredible Melanesian island of New Guinea, environment group WWF said.

Recommended for you

The ABC's of animal speech: Not so random after all

56 minutes ago

The calls of many animals, from whales to wolves, might contain more language-like structure than previously thought, according to study that raises new questions about the evolutionary origins of human language.

How to tell what a donkey is thinking

20 hours ago

Yawning, sighing and stretching are just three behaviours observed in donkeys that have been evaluated in newly published research led by academics from the University of Bristol's School of Veterinary Sciences ...

User comments : 0