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Pelican spiders lived 165 million-years-ago and they are ‘spider assassins’

Once upon a time, 165 million years ago, there lived a spider who looked like a pelican. About the size of a grain of rice and just as quiet, the pelican spider tiptoed under foliage in the leafy parts of the world, looking for prey to impale with the fanged, beak-like pincers at the end of its long neck. Its favorite meal: other spiders.

The happy ending to this tale (for arachnophiles, at least) is that pelican spiders still exist today — and in much greater variety than biologists previously thought. According to a new paper published today (Jan. 11) in the journal ZooKeys, there are at least 26 known species of pelican spiders (family name Archaeidae) still creeping around Madagascar and South Africa alone, 18 of which have never been described before. [5 Spooky Spider Myths Busted]

“I think there’s going to be a lot more species that haven’t yet been described or…

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