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?
- More Electricity In Developing Nations Had Little Impact On Climate Change
- Amenhotep III: Ancient Egyptian Mummies Didn't Have Spinal Arthritis
- Ebola Transmission Via Public Transport
- How Mitochondria Began - Parasitic Coevolution Gets A New Wrinkle
- From Mindless Physics To Physics Of Mind
- Get A Heart On: Viagra Is Good Outside The Bedroom Too
- #GAMERGATE Style Harassment Does Not Happen in the Male Dominated Sciences
- "Nailed it Hank! In my observations of liberalism, progressivism, or whatever they wish to call..."
- "I was think more along the lines of using one to install a web cam(s) into your fridge so you can..."
- "The first paragraph of your response is describing an ecological correlation, which I acknowledged..."
- "Robert H. Olley, Let's have a big party, maybe Thomas Dunkan's relatives being declared Ebola free..."
- "Nice bit of news for us all:Ebola crisis: Nigeria set to be declared free of virusRead about the..."
- Saving bees requires less pesticides, changing farming
- Could GM plants replace airport security scanners?
- In a battle of brains, chimpanzees match human toddlers
- ‘Urban farmers’ behind GMO labeling initiatives
- ‘Designer cells’ produce disease treating antibodies
- Hawaii’s anti-GMO and anti-pesticide measures analyzed
- HCV treatment breakthroughs highlighted at ACG 2014
- New tracers can identify frack fluids in the environment
- iPads detect early signs of glaucoma in Nepal eye screening
- 3-D printed facial prosthesis offers new hope for eye cancer patients following surgery
- Males with IBS report more social stress than females, UB study finds