Spider version of Bigfoot emerges from caves in the Pacific Northwest
Trogloraptor hangs beneath rudimentary webs on cave ceilings. It is about four centimeters wide when its legs are extended -- larger than the size of a half-dollar coin. Their extraordinary, raptorial claws suggest that they are fierce, specialized predators, but their prey and attack behavior remain unknown.
The anatomy of Trogloraptor forces arachnologists to revise their understanding of spider evolution. Strong evidence suggests that Trogloraptor is a close relative of goblin spiders, but Trogloraptor possesses a mosaic of ancient, widespread features and evolutionary novelties.
The true distribution of Trogloraptor remains unknown: that such a relatively large, peculiar animal could elude discovery until 2012 suggests that more may be lurking in the forests and caves of western North America.