Trogloraptorphoto: California Academy of SciencesTrogloraptorphoto: California Academy of Sciences
Habitat: Oregon and California
Status: Data Deficient

Meet Trogloraptor. No, it’s not the name of an extinct species of dino featured in Jurassic Park, nor is it an alien from the planet Trogolodor. But, this cave-dwelling creature certainly is something that appears quite otherworldly. Scientists only just recently discovered this strange spider living in old-growth forests of Oregon and California, living in loose strands of web hanging from cave ceilings and under forest debris.

At just around 1.5 inches wide with its legs stretched out, the Trogloraptor is unique because of its evolutionary features which include a set of lethal-looking claws on its legs, as shown below:

Trogloraptorphoto: California Academy of Sciences

The name Trogloraptor actually means “cave robber,” though no criminal activity has been observed using its scary claws… yet. The discovery of this creature wasn’t just the discovery of a new species or genus, but of an entirely new family of spiders which are now known as Trogloraptoridae. Let’s take one last close look at the claws which define this bizarre new family:

Trogloraptor photo: California Academy of Sciences

… awesome.