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Secrets of giant Antarctic sea spiders and their tiny eggs revealed after 140 years

Still Waters

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Scientists have finally resolved a 140-year-old mystery about how giant Antarctic sea spiders look after their eggs. Unlike other sea spiders that carry their eggs around until they hatch, the giant Antarctic sea spider (Colossendeis megalonyx) attach their thousands of tiny eggs to the rocky seafloor, a new study finds.

Sea spiders are marine arthropods that live in oceans around the world. They have eight extremely long, thin legs that make them resemble, but are not related to terrestrial daddy longlegs spiders (family Pholcidae). 

Many sea spiders only grow to up to an inch long, but those that live at the poles, like C. megalonyx, can have leg spans of up to 20 inches (51 centimeters) — a phenomenon known as "polar gigantism" because they are much larger than sea spiders in warmer climates. 


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