Pelican spiders: slow, safe assassins

Pelican spiders: slow, safe assassins

By Susan Milius, 12:22 PM March 6, 2014

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Spiders, thank goodness, haven’t evolved assassin drones. But the specialized hunters of the family Archaeidae can kill at a distance.

It’s a distance of only a few millimeters. But that’s substantial for these teensy dramas, and enough space to let a group called pelican spiders bring down their wary and dangerous prey: other spiders.

The pelican name comes from their profiles. “They look like little birds,” says Hannah Wood of the University of California, Davis. The spider’s bo...

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