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Spider named for Sir David Attenborough

Aug. 6, 2012 at 4:08 PM   |   Comments

PERTH, Australia, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- British naturalist and TV presenter Sir David Attenborough says it's "the biggest of compliments" to have a species of Australian spider named after him.

The recently discovered tiny spider species -- Prethopalpus attenboroughi -- is a little over a millimeter in length and found only on Horn Island off northern Queensland, the BBC reported.

Accepting the honor in Perth, Western Australia, Attenborough said, "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."

The spider is commonly known as a goblin spider so will generally be known as Attenborough's goblin spider, scientists behind the discovery said.

It was named after Attenborough because of his enthusiasm for nature and his ability to make biology accessible to generations of television viewers over six decades, they said.

Talking about his namesake arachnid, Attenborough said, "I take it that it is careful in its judgment, merciless, certainly beautiful and I will treasure it and I thank you very much indeed for this."

This is the second such honor for the British TV personality -- a fossil of a fish that lived 380 million years ago has been dubbed Materpiscis attenboroughi.

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