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Clawed creature found in bat poop is new species, study says. See the pseudoscorpion

A new species was found in feces.

Researchers in Colombia discovered a previously unknown pseudoscorpion — a type of scorpion-like arachnid — in bat excrement.

The brown-colored creature, with a body length of about 2 millimeters, or about .08 inches, long, sports two claws and eight legs with a “scale-like appearance,” according to a study published on Nov. 22 in the journal ZooKeys.

It was found in central Colombia, near the slopes of the Andes Mountains, researchers said.

The little arachnid belongs to an entirely new genus, and was given the name Paciwithius chimbilacus after the word “chimbilaco,” a common name for regional bats.

The new species, pictured on the far left, was named after the bats it was found near, researchers said.
The new species, pictured on the far left, was named after the bats it was found near, researchers said.

The researchers, who are affiliated with universities in Colombia and Australia, also discovered four other new types of pseudoscorpion in the South American nation.

Pseudoscorpions live in various habitats and are often found in small spaces, like inside crevices or under rocks and leaf litter, according to research from the University of Minnesota.

They use poison glands in their claws to incapacitate their prey, which consists of small insects, like beetle larvae, ants and mites.

Though they sometimes make their way indoors, they’re harmless to humans, according to the university research.

The creatures are known to have “elaborate mating displays,” which include a “dance” where partners lock claws, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Despite the fact that Colombia is a biodiversity hotspot — with over 500 types of mammals and 2,000 types of birds — relatively few pseudoscorpion species have been identified there.

So the discovery of five new species will help fill the “considerable” gap in knowledge of the “poorly known” creatures, researchers said.

Worldwide, there are over 2,500 known species of pseudoscorpions, according to research from the University of Wisconsin. They’ve been around for far longer than humans, dating back some 380 million years.

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