Trapdoor Spider, Believed to be the World’s Oldest, Dies at 43

Not since the beloved spider of the classic kid’s book Charlotte’s Web died has an arachnid’s demise caused such heartache.

A spider named nicknamed Number 16 and believed to be the world’s oldest, has passed away at the age of 43. The female Giaus Villosus, commonly known as a trapdoor spider, died while being observed in the wild for a long-term spider population study in Western Australia.

“To our knowledge this is the oldest spider ever recorded, and her significant life has allowed us to further investigate the trapdoor spider’s behavior and population dynamics,” Leanda Mason, a Ph.D. student from the School of Molecular and Life Sciences at Australia’s Curtin University, said in a statement Friday announcing the spider’s death.

Mason is also lead author of research on spiders in the Australian outback published in Pacific Conservation Biology.

Dying at the ripe old age of 43 is impressive considering most trapdoor spiders only live to be 20.

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SOURCE: Cnet, Bonnie Burton