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Scientists recently discovered a yellow, spider-like creature with four black eyes and large bulbous claws that resemble “boxing gloves,” Live Science reported.
The newfound species, Austropallene halanychi, is a species of sea spider, a distant relative of the horseshoe crab and other arachnids crawling around the ocean floor.
The team said the creature was pulled from the floor of the Ross Sea, about 1,870 feet below the surface. The weird-looking, tiny spiders eat through a straw-like proboscis instead of a mouth, and breathe through their legs.
Their boxing glove-like claws serve to grab soft foods such as anemones and worms, the researchers wrote in their paper.
The researchers explained that A. halanychi is one of at least 1,000 species of sea spiders found all over the world.
Still, its discovery underscores the richness of life living in the waters off the frozen continent, which include brightly colored sea stars and alien-looking marine worms and sponges, and how little scientists actually know about the creatures living in the Southern Ocean off Antarctica.
The authors noted that finding such species is a painstakingly long process that involves throwing nets deep underwater and capturing whatever is below. Once the creatures are pulled up, they are sent to labs for further analysis.
In the case of A. halanchyi, it was only recovered in 2013 and just recently taken out of storage for analysis.
“The benthic environment in Antarctica is an area of science that we need to keep exploring,” said co-author Andrew Mahon. “There’s so much down there that every time we go, we find new things.”