While traipsing through the a mine in the hills of Baja California, Michael Wall and Jim Berrian struck gold. Skittering across the abandoned mine shaft was a beast that would send most people running.  The entomologists instead ran toward the creature – a whopping spider the size of a baseball – and captured it for analysis. With juicy fangs, a hairy yellow abdomen and legs for miles, the arachnid was certainly a looker,

but neither of the scientists could classify it. Back in their lab at the San Diego Natural History Museum, the researchers had a eureka moment. Upon corroborating with Mexican entomologist and southern spider expert Maria Jimenez, the scientists confirmed that they had discovered a new species and genus. They named it Califorctenus cacahilensis, after the Sierra Cacahilas mountain ranges where it was first found. MORE