Meet “Predatorroonopsin” the Spider Named After Predator (1987).
A newly-discovered spider, bearing a striking resemblance to the alien hunter from the Predator franchise, has been named in honour of the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic. According to Newsweek, arachnologists surveying a section of forest in Sao Paulo uncovered a new type of goblin spider, noticing a similarity between it and the iconic sci-fi movie villain.
LEFT: NIALL CARSON/PA IMAGES/GETTY; RIGHT: COURTESY OF AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY (via Newsweek)
The group of goblin spiders was dubbed the Predatorroonopsin reference to the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic. “We named the genus and the species in honor of the participants and the peculiarities of the film,” arachnologist Antonio Brescovit, from Sao Paulo’s Butantan Institute explained.
The name came after the research team took a closer look at the spiders under an electron microscope and quickly noticed claws on the tip of the spiders’ legs and fangs hanging from the front of their mouths.
So far, so Predator – but it gets better.
All told, the team uncovered 17 different species of Predatoroonops spiders, so decided to name them after the various US Special Army Forces soldier that end up getting killed in the movie. There’s the Predatoroonops “Dutch” named after Schwarzenegger’s character and Predatoroonops “Dillon” for the Carl Weathers‘ Dillon.
Some of the other names pay tribute to the film’s director John McTiernan (P. mctiernani) and the entirely fictional country where Predator takes place (P. valverde). “I looked at the film about 10 times, to ensure that the nomenclature was correct and that all were honored,” Brescovit added.
Jesse Ventura Gets One Too!
Detailed in the Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History along with subspecies like the P. billy from a P. peterhalli, Brescovitand his colleagues study includes amusing references to spiders like P. blain which “refers to Blain Cooper, played by Jesse Ventura in the original Predator; he often chews tobacco and wears a battered, old slouch hat.”
Keen to raise awareness of the fact that new species are being discovered even now, while countless acres of forest are destroyed, Brescovit is hoping he, and other scientists like him will get to “stick around” rather than “get to the chopper.”
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