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Nature & Environment

Gigantic sea spiders reported at the poles

By T.K. Randall
December 30, 2015 · Comment icon 16 comments

Some sea spiders have been reaching record sizes in the polar regions. Image Credit: NOAA
Scientists have discovered that some species of sea spider have been growing to abnormally large sizes.
Despite having eight legs and looking a lot like regular spiders, sea spiders aren't actually arachnids at all but instead belong to a group of arthropods known as pycnogonids. There are over 1,300 different species and while many are quite small, some have grown to quite enormous sizes.

Of particular note are those specimens which live in the cold polar regions where a peculiar type of gigantism has been affecting several different categories of marine life for years.
Scientists have so far been unable to explain what could be causing this however leading theories include the possibility that the water's high oxygen content might be responsible.

Cold temperatures reducing the creatures' metabolic rates could also be a factor.

The poles aren't the only places that sea spiders can grow to large sizes however as some species, even in warmer climates, have been found to grow in excess of three feet across.



Source: Market Business News | Comments (16)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by BeastieRunner 9 years ago
Well that settles it. I'm never swimming in the South Pole now!
Comment icon #8 Posted by freetoroam 9 years ago
wow, digestive tract in their legs, now that's clever s ** t! Wonder how big they would actually grow before man says "that's enough, now we are scared..kill them!"
Comment icon #9 Posted by Aftermath 9 years ago
Well that settles it. I'm never swimming in the South Pole now! wow, digestive tract in their legs, now that's clever s ** t! Wonder how big they would actually grow before man says "that's enough, now we are scared..kill them!" We're already there. Now that they're big enough to have an article written about them, coupled with the notion that BeastieRunner cannot swim at the South Pole, we must eradicate them now without prejudice. It's imperative that peoples feel safe to swim at the South Pole.
Comment icon #10 Posted by freetoroam 9 years ago
We're already there. Now that they're big enough to have an article written about them, coupled with the notion that BeastieRunner cannot swim at the South Pole, we must eradicate them now without prejudice. It's imperative that peoples feel safe to swim at the South Pole. You are right. BeastieRunner, get your flippers out, its safe to go into the ocean.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Silver Surfer 9 years ago
she is all legs.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Not Your Huckleberry 9 years ago
Ten inches? That's supposed to be scary? I love spiders and REAL ones grow a good bit larger here on land.
Comment icon #13 Posted by whichisit 9 years ago
they will take over the world in the year 5463
Comment icon #14 Posted by Aftermath 9 years ago
they will take over the world in the year 5463 Well, I'm going to hold you to that. Won't you look silly in 5464 when they aren't our overlords... ha!
Comment icon #15 Posted by Jeffertonturner 9 years ago
There's something in the mist!....
Comment icon #16 Posted by qxcontinuum 9 years ago
the oxygen explains it. this is why in the past millions of years ago when the planet was reacher in o2 all the creatures were larger , like dinosaurus.


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