In J.R.R. Tolkeins's fantasy epic "The Lord of the Rings", a hobbit discovers a giant in the caves under Mt. Doom.
More recently, another famous hobbit helped discover a much smaller kind of spider. And the researchers who get credit for it named Ctenus monaghani after him.
Actor Dominic Monaghan, who played Hobbit Meriadoc “Merry” Brandybock in the recent motion picture trilogy, has a new nature documentary called “Wild Things” and Dr. Peter Jäger, expert consultant to the “Wild Things” team in the forests and caves of Laos, discovered the new, eight-legged critter and named it after the actor in recognition of Monaghan's natural world enthusiasm, which even extends to inconspicuous and unpopular animals such as spiders.
Ctenus monaghani (c) Peter Jäger/Senckenberg
“He places nature in the foreground in a very special manner,” says Jäger, when explaining the dedication of the new spider species. The spider expert also appeared in front of the camera with the actor in a river cave when Monaghan got to meet his eight-legged namesake in its natural habitat.
Ctenus is a spider genus with many representatives. The smallest of them are less than one centimetre in body length, while particularly large species can reach to more than 3 centimeters. The genus Ctenus belongs to the so-called wandering spiders, which roam along the jungle floor at night and catch their prey without a web.
Whoever is the first to discover a new species is allowed to name it. Its membership of a genus is determined necessarily by the physical features of the creature, but the species name – the second word of the term – can be chosen freely, subject to certain rules of nomenclature.
Nice work, Mr. Monaghan. Keep raising money to advocate science and the next one could be named after your "Lost" character, Charlie Pace.
Citation: JÄGER, P. (2013) Ctenus monaghani spec. nov., a nocturnal hunter from the forest floor in Laos (Araneae: Ctenidae) — Zootaxa 3670 (1): 091–093 dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3670.1
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Wait, Let's Not Be In Such A Rush To Go Multiplanetary Or Interstellar - A Comment On Elon Musk's Vision
- Petition To Youtube To Halt Ads On Doomsday Videos - They Make The Vulnerable Suicidal
- Why Psychology Lost Its Soul - Science Replaced It
- Hubble Spots Europa Geysers Again - How They Did It - And What Next? Flyby? Lander?
- Chatelperronian Hominins: Disputed Neanderthal Region Confirmed In France
- No Go Area! What? What is that?
- A Book By Guido Tonelli
- "You can't go by Donald Trump, he is fishing in the dark and he basically made the same error Hillary..."
- "I was struck by the primaries for US presidency, that the R's seemed more prone to be anti-vaccine..."
- "Yes I did Margaret, hope you saw my reply. I try to respond within 24 hours, sometimes it's a bit..."
- "Hi Margaret, oh sorry to hear that your grandson got scared of this. I think irresponsible journalism..."
- "I dont no if you received my message mr walker or not.Margaret ..."
- Celebrate Oktoberfest with Beer Chemistry
- Littlest Consumers Doing Well, Nutrition-wise
- Herpes Vaccine Update: Exciting News, But Don't Throw Away the Condoms Just Yet
- Ben & Jerry’s Asks Us to Take Big Lick of Fear & Hype
- A Cocktail of Wild Viruses Treats Bacterial Wound Infections in Mice
- The Scientific Advisors at Theranos Won't (or Can't) Talk
- Brown adipose tissue can secrete factors that activate fat and carbohydrate metabolism
- Therapeutic Gene Delivery for Inherited Retinal Degeneration in Children
- Molecular atlas of the pancreas
- 6 steps to extinction
- Chemical weapons are still being used in Iraq but the Obama administration doesn't talk about it