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Man’s fight with a spider sparks police call

SYDNEY:  An Australian man triggered an emergency police response after a noisy exchange with a spider startled a passerby into reporting what sounded like a violent disturbance to the authorities, media reported. A neighbour was walking past a house in the west coast city of Perth on Wednesday when they heard a man repeatedly yelling “why don’t you die?” and a toddler screaming. The neighbour then called the police emergency number, according to media reports. “Multiple police units responded (with) lights and…

World’s oldest known spider dies in Australia — of wasp sting

SYDNEY: The world's oldest known spider has died at the ripe old age of 43 after being monitored for years during a long-term population study in Australia, researchers said Monday. The trapdoor matriarch comfortably outlived the previous record holder, a 28-year-old tarantula found in Mexico, according to a study published in the Pacific Conservation Biology Journal. The spider did not die of old age but was killed by a wasp sting, researchers said. Named Number 16, the spider helped scientists to unlock important…

100 million-year-old spider with a tail found trapped in amber

Two teams of scientists on Monday unveiled a "missing-link" species of spider with a scorpion-like tail found perfectly preserved in amber in Southeast Asia's forests after at least 100 million years. In studies published side-by-side in Nature Ecology and Evolution, one team argued that male sex organs and silk thread-producing teats link the creature to living spiders. The other team pointed to the long tail and a segmented body to argue that Chimerarachne yingi belongs instead to a far more ancient and extinct…

Scientists name new spider after Harry Potter’s sorting hat

MUMBAI: Indian scientists have discovered a new species of spider that looks "uncannily" like the sorting hat in Harry Potter and have named it after its owner Godric Gryffindor, they said Thursday. The ardent fans of the boy wizard came across the seven millimetre (around a quarter of an inch) spider in October last year during a survey of the lush Western Ghats mountain range in south-west India. "My colleagues and I are geeks and we all thought, 'Hey this curious little spider looks exactly like the sorting hat.' It…

Neymar damages Ferrari in road accident

MADRID: Barcelona's Brazilian star Neymar damaged his Ferrari Spider in a road accident but his club said he was ready to play against Real Sociedad on Sunday night. The 24-year-old striker hit trouble driving through the rain to the Barcelona training ground before the team's flight to the northern city of San Sebastian for the match. Catalan television TV3 showed images of a dent on the left front side of the sports car, which was parked on the side of a road. "He had a car accident but was not injured and was…