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article imageNewly discovered spider named after Sir David Attenborough

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By Tim Sandle     Aug 4, 2012 in Environment
Sir David Attenborough, the distinguished naturalist and wildlife documentary film maker, has received the honor of having a newly discovered species named after him: an Australian spider.
The tiny spider was recently discovered in Australia and has been named prethopalpus attenboroughi (which is part of a family of silk-spinning spiders called goblin spiders). ABC News said that the declaration was made at a ceremony held in Perth, Western Australia.
Sir David Attenborough has been the face and voice of natural history programs, mostly made by the BBC and shown worldwide, for over 50 years. His television work includes 'Life on Earth', 'The Private Life of Plants' and 'First Life'.
A presentation was made to Sir David by Alec Coles, head of the Western Australian Museum. Coles said of the naming β€œIt is incredible that in the 21st century our scientists are still documenting and describing so many new species. Prethopalpus is commonly known as a goblin spider, making this species Attenborough's goblin spider."
On accepting the award Sir David said "I take it that it is careful in its judgement, merciless, certainly beautiful and I will treasure it and I thank you very much indeed for this. Naming a species is the biggest of compliments that you could ask from any scientific community and I truly thank you very much indeed for this one."
According to the BBC, the arachnid is a little over a milimetre in length and it has only been found only on Horn Island, which is off the coast of northern Queensland in Australia's Torres Strait.
Sir David has previously received the distinction of having a fossil fish named after him, the 380 million-years-old materpiscis attenboroughi.
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