The oldest spider in the world dead at 43 years old

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The main aim of the research work conducted in the Central Wheatbelt region of Western Australia was to observe the mysterious trapdoor spiders and how they were successful in living for so many years.

Researchers have confirmed that a trapdoor spider of the species Giaus villosus, from western Australia, survived until the ripe old age of 43 before finally perishing, presumably from old age. "Through Barbara's detailed research, we have been able to determine that the longevity of burrowing spiders is due to their life cycle, including how they live in uncleared bushland areas, their sedentary nature and their weak metabolism, "said Ms. Mason".

Trapdoor spiders are called such because they don't spin webs like many others.

The team at Curtin University continued Barbara's research, now aged 88, and were able to gather information regarding the spider's age, cause of death, and a better understanding of its life history.

Number 16 was included in the population targeted for the study right after birth in 1974.

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Number 16 outlived the previous record-holder, a 28-year-old tarantula found in Mexico, by some considerable margin. Trapdoor spiders never re-use the disused burrow of another spider, so the researchers can be fairly confident that they were monitoring the same spider for 43 years.

Leanda Mason is a PhD student from the School of Molecular and Life Sciences at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. They cleverly camouflage their trapdoor and lay out trip lines so that when an insect triggers it, they leap out in surprise attack, dragging their prey into their burrow.

Mason worked with Main for six years and says the scientist taught her a lot about spiders - and about scientific objectivity. While females stay in or near their burrows, males leave once mature and go in search of a mate. The trapdoor spiders are about 2-3 centimeters long and have powerful jaws along with sharp fangs.

According to the press release, this rare long-term study will help researchers understand how climate change and deforestation impact this and similar species.

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