Newly-discovered Australian spider can swim and eat toads

The spider was named Dolomedes briangreenei, after famed physicist Brian Greene

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The Independent Online

A new species of spider which can swim and catch fish has been discovered in Australia.

The spider, named Dolomedes briangreenei, was unveiled at the ninth annual World Science Festival in Brisbane, Australia.

The creature was named after Brian Greene, the famed string theorist and Columbia University professor who founded the festival in 2008.

The spider is around the size of your palm, a locates its prey by detecting vibrations and tiny waves in water while skimming around on the surface.

It also catches insects which fall into its path, grabbing them and diving underwater before making its way to dry land to eat them.

Despite its size, it can eat fish, tadpoles and even cane toads, which are considered an invasive species and pest in Australia.

The spider is only found on Australia's east coast, in freshwater streams around Brisbane.

Fortunately for Australians, it isn't dangerous to humans - although there's no shortage of lethal wildlife crawling around all over the country.

As Mashable reports, Greene managed to bond with his arachnid namesake.

Speaking to the press, he said: "Physics is all about waves, understanding the universe is all about waves."

"With the announcement last month of humankind's first detection of gravitational waves - ripples on the surface of space and time - I am particularly honoured to be so closely associated with a spider that has its own deep affinity for waves."

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