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[music] Hey it’s me Destin welcome back to Smarter Every Day. Today’s observation that I’m gonna share with you is amazing. It’s the discovery of a new species of spider potentially, in the Amazon rainforest. I’m talking about the exact moment that we walked up and recorded for science, video of a new species of spider that has amazing behaviours. Let me set it up. Me, Gordon, and Phil, who’s an entomologist were walking down this path in the rainforest with our headlamps Gordon discovers something over here. He calls us. I hit record on the camera, turn around and walk towards Gordon. (Destin) So what happened?
– I don’t know. They’ve- It’s like they’ve evaporated. It’s like something small living on there. Dude, is that a fake spider that that thing makes? (Destin) What’s.. what’s bumping that? – Yeah there’s a bug living on there. That actually may have made a fake spider, out of debris.
– No!
– Not even kidding. (Destin) Oh man! – There’s a ti.. It’s a tiny spider disguised as a big spider. – Shut up!
– Or something. I can see over here..
– What’s moving?
– It’s a little spider on the other side. – I can’t tell if it’s a spider or a bug.
– It looked like a spider from this side. – Nuts! I’ve never ever ever seen that.
– Did we discover something? [laugh] (Destin) Oh and let me manage my lizard bag. Where’s the tiny spider?
– Dude it’s a spider. – That is crazy. Oh I just realised I have my camera. – 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8. Correct number of legs. On the fake.
– There’s no way.. Cause that would mean that they could like.. they can count. (Destin) So he’s vibrating it.. To make it look bigger. Is that what’s happening? – I think it might be.
– Yeah to make it look like it’s moving. (Destin) He’s so tiny though.
– Yeah but he’s trying to look big. (Destin) OK. So we’re in the jungle, and our current theory is that this tiny tiny tiny spider at the top of this keep me back-lit there Gordon, it’s working good. This tiny spider has created.. is that dust? are we thinking? Debris that looks like a big spider, and he’s vibrating the whole web to make it look like he is a big spider. – He’s got.. he’s counted legs. (Destin) Eight legs. This doesn’t seem like it could be true. We have to.. research that. Vibrate it one more time mr.. There you go. Thank you. Alright, we’ll go research. Wow. We need Jeff’s macro lens is what we need.
– Well.. we know what this is. That’s amazing. is it not? So the reason Phil and I were talking about a macro lens is we knew we had to get that information out of the jungle and into the hands of the arachnologists back in the states. The camera lenses that we had on hand were only capable of taking photos like this, so we couldn’t actually see the spider on top. But Jeff however had a 60mm back at the lodge so we went and got him and he took photos so you can actually see the spider up top. If you want to see what that looks like go click here or in the link in the video description. You can see what that actual spider looks like that made this whole decoy. So did we actually discover a new species? If you look at the class for arachnids underneath it there’s a genus called cyclosa. And in cyclosa there’s a specific type of spider called a trash-line orb weaver. Now this orb weaver is able to go get debris, bring it back to his web, and create little bitty decoys and things like that in his web. So it sounds like we’re getting close, but here’s the difference. We have not seen anything near this accurate in these little trash-line orb weavers. First of all there’s eight legs. That in itself is mind blowing to me. But there’s two other things I think are pretty cool as well. You notice that there’s both an abdomen on each one, but also there’s a cephalothorax which is the combination between the head and the thorax. That is amazing. So the verdict is still out on this one. We don’t know if this is in fact a new species, however the arachnologists at both Harvard and Cornell say they haven’t seen anything like this before but they are reviewing the data and they’re gonna let us know. So, here’s what we’re gonna do. What would you name this new species if you had the opportunity to name it? So leave me a comment and tell me what it would be, however, I’m gonna tell you what we thought. I thought a really good one would be the effigy spider. Jeff liked the debris spider, Phil liked the decoy spider, Gordon liked the mosaic spider. So anyway, leave a comment below. Tell me what you think it should be called, and I don’t know, who knows? Maybe those researchers will read the comments and come up with a name that you guys selected. So there you go. I hope you enjoyed it. News media outlets please contact me before you try to use this video. Get proper permission. Next week is high speed video of butterflies. That should be awesome. I’m Destin. You’re getting Smarter Every Day. Please subscribe. Have a good one. [music] So when I first walked up on this species, I thought I was looking at something that had been attacked by cordyceps, which is a fungus that will go and attack the host species and replace all the living tissue inside, while it’s still living, with fungus. It’s nasty stuff. [ Captions by Andrew Jackson ]
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