One of the things the continent of Australia is known for is the incredible amount of animal species that are f***ing scary hanging around the joint. Turns out a new spider species discovered in Queensland fits right in with the stereotype.
The Dolomedes briangreenei, a spider that actually likes to swim and catch fish, was discovered in state that covers the North East of the country. It’s named after physicist and World Science Festival co-founder, Brian Greene, a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University.
So what does this spider do? It uses the vibrations of the water surface to navigate and track down prey, which consists of fish, frogs, tadpoles and also the Cane Toad, which has turned out to be something of a problematic addition to the environment since being introduced in the 1930s.
The spiders, about the size of a human hand, are particularly good swimmers, usually working off rocks and the sides of pools. They’ve been seen sculling across the surface with their two middle pairs of legs. When they’re trying to haul in a captured fish or when disturbed, they will plunge and dive quickly to the bottom of the body of water they’re in.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk unveiled and introduced the spider to Professor Green in Brisbane at the opening of the inaugural World Science Festival.