It seems Bigfoot isn’t the only large and scary cryptid roaming the woods of Oregon. Over in the mountainous portion of the state, scientists recently found another creature so large for its kind that they named it the Cryptomaster behemoth. (Photo above right.)
C.behemoth is an arachnid, part of the harvestmen arthropods. You probably know the harvestmen whom we call daddy long legs. So how large is a behemoth of a daddy long legs? Five mm in length. That translates to .2 of an inch, two tenths of an inch.
Am I missing something here?
(In the photo below, images B and D show C. behemoth compared to its cousin C. leviathan in images A and C.)
What’s in a Name?
According to the scientists studying C. behemoth, this new species deserves its name because in size, it dwarfs its cousins in the same suborder. I guess size is relative, right? (Photo of C.behemoth below left by unknown.)
Marshal Hedin is a biology professor at San Diego State University and he and his team have been scouring the forests of Oregon looking for beasties just like this new one. In an interview with CNN, Hedin said, “This part is about discovering diversity and describing it. You don’t have to go somewhere exotic, like the Amazon, to find something that hasn’t been discovered. With these tools, you can find something not discovered right here in the Northwest.”
Tell it to Bigfoot. I wonder if Professor Hedin sees the irony in all this. Moving on …
The normally unassuming C. behemoth lives below woody debris on the forest floor where it lies in wait. As soon as another unsuspecting bug happens to pass by his lair, he jumps out and kills it, then enjoys his feast.
This new species is larger than one found in 1969 in Gold Beach, Oregon. That species was named Cryptomaster leviathan. The scientists expect to find more new species throughout the area and feel it’s important to do so. (Photo below of immature C. leviathan by unknown.)
Why It’s Important
Their goal is to show how important these daddy long legs are to their local environments so science can better understand the biodiversity within that area. Further, they hope to prove that the southwestern mountains of Oregon host a wealth of animals indigenous to just that area alone.
I have to assume this will help their conservation efforts in the area, and that’s good. Still, why don’t they get off the ground and start looking for something a bit larger. I know bugs are important and they play an important role in every environment, but really?
Are you happy to see this “giant” of a spider? Or would you rather see a Bigfoot?
Oh Giorgio, will you please STOP??!!