Perched on a leaf somewhere in Southeast Asia is another David Bowie, leggier, completely unaware of the passing of his namesake.
German biologist Peter Jäger has discovered 200 new species of spiders in the last 10 years and likes to name them after celebrities, like artist Nina Hagen. His latest discovery has been the heteropoda davidbowie, a hairy yellow spider from Malaysia, with which he pays tribute to the British musician, who in his glam era created the character Ziggy Stardust, who was accompanied by the band The Spiders From Mars.
The ‘Heteropoda davidbowie’ comes from Malaysia, as does the ‘Heteropoda ninahagen’, discovered on one of the multiple trips that the naturalist has made around the world and in which he has verified the harmful effect that man’s activities are having on the biodiversity of the planet.
The publication of the Senckenberg institute also denounces that in tropical forests “the desire for a higher standard of living is sacrificing biodiversity” through the felling of trees, an expansive agricultural policy, and the proliferation of monocultures.
The denunciation of these practices has also served to name another spider discovered by Jäger, the “Heteropoda homstu”, alluding to the Latin expression “homo stultus” (Stupid man), the result of Jäger’s frustration at the destruction of the ecosystems in countries such as Laos, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
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