A paper published in PLOS One today by PhD candidate Sophie Harrison and Professor Andy Austin today tells the origin story of Trapdoor Spider’s arrival in Australia.
This new paper challenges the previous theory the spiders arrived in Australia during the break up of the supercontinent Gondwana 95 million years ago.
However, the genetic analysis conducted by PhD candidate Sophie Harrison suggests the species of trapdoor spiders found on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island only split from it’s closest relative 2-16 million years ago.
This new evidence proposes trapdoor spiders may have rafted across the Indian ocean in their silk sealed, climate controlled homes on or in debris washed out of African rivers to Australia.
Read the full media release here
And see the story covered in more detail in COSMOS Magazine, featured in the top five stories on The Smithsonian, ABC Science, The Conversation, SA’s publication The Lead and the cover of USA Today which has a daily readership of 7 million.