Two lineages of dangerous arachnids found in Australia -- long classified as distantly related in the official taxonomy -- are, in fact, relatively close evolutionary cousins. The lineages include the most venomous spiders in the world. The findings could help in the development of novel antivenoms, as well as point to new forms of insecticides.
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New research shows that individuals from the spider family Selenopidae -- commonly known as flattie spiders -- can sense prey approaching from any direction and whip around in one-eighth of a second to strike. High-speed footage reveals that a swift flex of their long legs helps the hunters accomplish this feat, deemed the fastest leg-driven turn of any animal on the planet.