Archive for Denver Museum of Nature and Science
www.nationalgeographic.com 4th February 2011
A new species of pseudoscorpion (essentially a scorpion with no tail) has been discovered in high-altitude caverns in Colorado state, USA. The half an inch long (1.3cm) Cryptogreagris steinmanni is practically blind but is lack of a tail does not make it any less poisonous than a normal scorpion. The new species has long venom-tipped pincers that help it catch agile prey in the dark. Biospeleologist David Steinmann from the zoology department of Denver Museum of Nature and Science, who classified the creature, has suggested that the pseudoscorpion may be unique to the Glenwood Caverns and Historic Fairy Caves of Colorado and may have lain undisturbed for millions of years. “A lot of these caves are islands, almost like an isolated environment where invertebrates … evolve into being adapted to underground life,” he said. Little is known of the pseudoscorpion except it is well camouflaged, relatively long lived, and able to curl into a ball when threatened.