New Tarantula species named after Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Jul 7, 2016 14:18 IST

Scientists has named a newly discovered species of tarantula (a big hairy spider) as Kankuamo Marquezi after the famed Colombian novelist and 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

The species was discovered in large number in an isolated mountain range in Caribbean Colombia.  It was named after him as homage to the country where it was found.

It was discovered by a group of Uruguayan and Colombian scientists, led by Carlos Perefan from the University of the Republic of Uruguay.

Kankuamo Marquezi

• The arachnid has a defence mechanism that includes releasing stinging hairs that dig into predators’ eyes and people’s skin.

• It carries as scary look but its non-aggressive body is three centimeters long with legs of the same length, which make its overall size to nine centimeter (3.5 inches).

• It was discovered in the upper area of a mountain, 2200 meters high, in a rainy, cold environment.

• Kankuamo is a noun in apposition and refers to the indigenous people of the Chibcha family from the Caribbean region of Colombia.

• It inhabits the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, whose language and culture are at endangered.

• Tarantulas comprise a group of large and often hairy arachnids belonging to the Theraphosidae family of spiders, of which approximately 900 species have been identified.

Gabriel Marquez

• He was a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist, known affectionately as Gabo or Gabito throughout Latin America.

• He is an author of the classic novels One hundred Years of Solitude (for it he was awarded the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature) and Love in the Time of Cholera.

• He was born on 6 March 1927 in Aracataca, Colombia’s northern coast and started out as a journalist in Cartagena.

• He was widely seen as the master of magical realism, which refers to literature in particular that, portrays magical or unreal elements as a natural part in an otherwise realistic or mundane environment.

• He died at the age of 87 in April 2014 in Mexico.

• He won the Nobel Prize for literature for helping put Latin America on the literary map. 

The new genus and species was described by the scientists in the journal ZooKeys.

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