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'Monster' Daddy Longlegs Lives in Forests and Mountains of Oregon

Feb 02, 2016 06:08 PM EST
Cryptomaster behemoth
A new, monster-sized Daddy longlegs has been identified deep in forested mountains in Oregon.
(Photo : Dr. James Starrett)

It seems that scientists have discovered a new, mondo species of Daddy Longlegs that lives way off in mountainous forest in Oregon. It is part of a group of arachnids known for being large, and it has a very big body. Surprisingly for one with its name, though, its legs are fairly short.

Those researchers were inspired by new records on another spider in the same genus, Cryptomaster, that had been named after the Hebrew monster Leviathan (sounds big), and they set out to look for other harvestmen, according to a release. Harvestmen is the other common name for Daddy Longlegs.

They found what is being called the Cryptomaster behemoth, located in southwest Oregon. The findings on it were recently published in the journal ZooKeys.

Both Cryptomaster Daddy Longlegs are in the very large harvestman suborder, Laniatores. All of them seem to have fairly short legs and like to hide under logs, leaf litter and stones in temperate and tropical forests. There are well over four thousand species in that suborder.

Among other things, the finding reveals the mountains of southern Oregon as "a hotspot for endemic animal species," the authors noted in their report.

The research team was led by the University of California Riverside and San Diego State University.

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

-Follow Catherine on Twitter @TreesWhales

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