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Amazon spider discovered making decoys of itself to ward off predators

• Stephen C. Webster via The

A unique spider in the Amazon rainforest was recently spotted using bits of leaves and dead insects to create larger-scale decoy spider shapes in its web, which it uses to ward off predators.

“I’ve seen a lot of weird things in the Amazon, but this one definitely stood out,” science educator and biologist Phil Torres, who made the amazing find, told Raw Story. “It’s not yet certain that this is a new species — it really looks like it, and it probably is — but that’ll be confirmed soon. As far as the behavior, it’s definitely not something anybody else has seen.”

His finding was first published in Rainforest Expeditions last week.

He described seeing the collection of debris in a web and thinking it was a dead spider, but upon closer inspection it appeared to be moving.

“Then we got closer and realized it wasn’t a spider at all,” he said. “We looked behind the decoy and lo and behold, we saw this little spider guy shaking [his web] back and forth trying to act all tough. We realized then that this is really something special.”

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