The world’s oldest known tarantula has died. The spider, that goes by Number 16, was native to Mexico and was studied by Barbara York Main, who first discover the critter after its birth. It was 28-years-old.
“To our knowledge this is the oldest spider ever recorded and her significant life has allowed us to further investigate the trapdoor spider’s behavior and popular dynamics,” said Leanda Mason, a student of Professor Main’s and the study’s lead author. Mason says that the reason these spiders are able to live so long is because of their life-history traits, which include “how they live in uncleared, native bushland, their sedentary nature, and low metabolisms.”
The poisonous trapdoor spiders usually take five to seven years to mature and typically never leave the burrow they’re born in. Its usually the males that do venture off to find a mate, while the females rarely stray more than a few meters from their birth place. On Number 16’s death, Mason says, “We’re really miserable about it. We were hoping she could have made it to 50-years-old.”