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Scientists 'miserable' after oldest living 43-year-old spider die


Australian scientists are mourning the loss of the world's oldest-known spider, which died from a wasp sting. It was 43.

"We're really miserable about it," lead scientist at Curtin University, Leanda Mason, told the Daily Telegraph. "We were hoping she could have made it to 50 years old."

The Gaius Villosus, or trapdoor spider, known lovingly as Number 16, crushed the spider longevity record when it surpassed the last known oldie, a Mexican tarantula that spun its final web at 28.

The trapdoor queen had been under observation while living her best life in the wild since her birth in 1974.

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"To our knowledge this is the oldest spider ever recorded and her significant life has allowed us to further investigate the trapdoor spider's behavior and popular dynamics," Mason said. “We were able to determine that the extensive life span of the trapdoor spider is due to their life-history traits, including how they live in uncleared, native bushland, their sedentary nature and low metabolisms."

This particular species of spider typically lives anywhere from five to 20 years and isn't a mortal threat to humankind, although a bite can be painful.

Females don't get out too much and are known to stay in or around their burrow for much if not all of their lives, making Number 16 an easy specimen for the scientists to research and, apparently, grow rather attached to.