There’s A Freaky-Looking New Daddy Longlegs Named ‘Smeagol’ You Have To See
His name is Smeagol, and he lives in a cave. Sound familiar?
There’s a newly-discovered species of daddy longlegs, and due to his habitat, scientists have named the little guy “Iandumoema smeagol.” He’s eyeless, pale, and loves his dark hole in the ground. Take a look, if you’re not too freaked out:
Little smeagol is an arachnid, but not a spider. Scientists found the new species in Brazil’s caves, and because this arachnid is a forager, his official career title is “harvestman.” Sounds impressive.
Why eyeless? Scientists believe that the habitat of the smeagol caused the species to evolve without eyes—after all, they can’t use them. Its subterranean habitat also led to the specific coloring of the smeagol—specifically, none at all.
The smeagol has almost no melanin because it needs no protection from the sun’s rays. Just like our slightly-deranged friend Smeagol, obsessed with treasure.
Even though the smeagol is highly adapted to its specific environment, scientists think that their adaptations may actually be rendering them endangered. They are unable to travel from one habitat to another should the need arise, and they definitely can’t live anywhere outside their own habitat even if they could get there. With no eyes, and no protection from the sun, the smeagol population is at an extreme evolutionary disadvantage.
Scientists are currently doing more research on the smeagol to figure out how best it may be protected. Without help, they may be in danger of quick extinction.
Depending on what your opinion on spiders is, you may or may not be okay with that.