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Page last updated at 08:13 GMT, Saturday, 18 August 2012 09:13 UK

New family of spiders discovered in the US

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Scientists in the United States say they have found a new family of spiders in the caves of California and Oregon - the first such discovery in North America for more than 140 years. Spanning more than seven centimetres with its legs extended, the spider has pointed fearsome claws.

Scientists have named it Trogloraptor or cave robber, but they have no idea what it eats.

Curator of Arachnology at the California Academy of Sciences, Charles Griswold, told the Today programme presenter, Sarah Montague, that the discovery is a "historic moment".

He describes the spider as possessing "remarkable claws or feet like a switchblade to trap prey", which are traits of the sole surviving member of the goblin spider family.


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