Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Pseudoscorpion Discovered in Yosemite National Park

02.12.2010
It waits blindly in the darkness of granite caves in Yosemite National Park, moving little to conserve energy.

Its venom-filled claw at the ready, it waits for prey to amble by it. Giving a quick tap to a possible meal, this newly discovered, blind pseudoscorpion will grab the prey and wait for the poison to take hold. Then, it will eat.

Thankfully, at less than half an inch in length with legs outstretched, Parobisium yosemite poses little threat to humans or any other animals larger than an eighth of an inch, said James C. Cokendolpher, a research scientist and assistant curator of invertebrates at The Museum of Texas Tech University.

He and Austin-based researcher, Jean K. Krejca, recently documented the new arachnid in the Sept. 30th Occasional Papers by Texas Tech University’s Natural Science Research Laboratories. The new animal is commonly called the Yosemite cave pseudoscorpion.

“This pseudoscorpion was originally found three or four years ago,” Cokendolpher said. “There was a team from Austin that was hired to go into some of the caves in Yosemite National Park to do a survey and map some of the caves. Jean was one of the first ones to discover the species. She and others caught two of them, which were sent to me for identification. Once we discovered it was a species unknown to science, they went back and collected in some other areas to see if the species was there.”

Most cave-dwelling species live in limestone caves, he said, where more humidity and access to food makes it more hospitable for life. Finding Parobisium yosemite in the caves formed from granite rockfalls came as a surprise.

It might be the second discovered cave-dwelling pseudoscorpion that lives in these granite talus caves in the world, he said.

Strange to behold, pseudoscorpions are small arachnid predators, Cokendolpher said. With claws in the front, the animals have eight legs, but no long post-abdomen with a stinger like a real scorpion. Pseudoscorpions are an order of arachnids unto themselves, such as ticks, mites, daddy longlegs and vinegaroons.

“This pseudoscorpion is as large as many of the other cave-dwelling species,” Cokendolpher said, explaining most of the more than 3,000 species of pseudoscorpions are much smaller. “Cave species are generally larger, have longer appendages, lighter coloration and are missing all the eyes. The canyon where it was found was made by a glacier during an ice age millions of years ago. Through time, rubble with larger rocks would fall and create piles with caves or subterranean voids. We think that’s where this animal was trapped and evolved into the species that it is now.”

Cokendolpher explained the animal doesn’t move around much, probably to conserve energy.

“I kept a couple of them in the laboratory for quite a while,” he said. “They basically sat and did nothing for much of the time. We kept them in Petri dishes with plaster of Paris that was moistened so it was more like cave conditions. When we introduced other animals into the Petri dish it would go over and tap the animal. When it did that, it was able to sense chemical cues there such as identification, how large the item was and whether it was something suitable to eat. Out of several weeks we kept them, the only thing that was eaten was a tiny spider. Like many of other cave animals, it doesn’t need a lot of nourishment. That’s good for them in a food-poor environment.”

Watch the interview with Cokendolpher at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbOxJ08xtHw
Find Texas Tech news, experts and story ideas at www.media.ttu.edu.
CONTACT: James Cokendolpher, assistant curator, invertebrate zoology, Museum of Texas Tech University, (806) 742-2486 ext. 271, or james.cokendolpher@ttu.edu

John Davis | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.ttu.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Newly designed molecule binds nitrogen
23.02.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Atomic Design by Water
23.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>