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Six galaxies found trapped in ‘spider’s web’ of supermassive black hole

Six galaxies found trapped in ‘spider’s web’ of supermassive black hole

Technology
Astronomers have found six galaxies lying around a supermassive black hole in a cosmic "spider's web" of gas extending to more than 300 times the size of the Milky Way.Researchers say it was formed when the universe was less than a billion years old and this is the first time such a close grouping has been seen so soon after the Big Bang. The finding helps to better understand how supermassive black holes, one of which exists at the centre of our Milky Way, formed and grew to their enormous sizes so quickly.It also supports the theory that black holes can grow rapidly within large, web-like structures, which contain plenty of gas to fuel them, according to the astronomers. Image: Another black hole found by the European Southern Observatory. Pic...
eBay workers who sent spiders to couple to plead guilty

eBay workers who sent spiders to couple to plead guilty

Technology
Federal prosecutors say four former eBay employees have agreed to plead guilty to their roles in sending live spiders and cockroaches in an effort to intimidate a Massachusetts couple who ran an online newsletter critical of the auction siteByThe Associated PressSeptember 23, 2020, 9:24 PM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleBOSTON -- Four former eBay Inc. employees have agreed to plead guilty to their roles in a campaign of intimidation that included sending live spiders and cockroaches to the home of a Massachusetts couple who ran an online newsletter critical of the auction site, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.“Four former employees of #eBay are scheduled to plead guilty on Oct. 8 at 2pm via zoom in federal court in #Boston,” according to a tweet from the o...
Peacock spiders show more of their colours

Peacock spiders show more of their colours

Science
OK, a lot of people don't like arachnids. But c'mon, these little guys are simply stunning.Seven new peacock spiders have been described in the journal Zootaxa.And just like their cousins in the Maratus genus, they all live in Australia and they all feature those amazing iridescent colours that the males will flaunt during courtship.The man behind the descriptions is Museums Victoria's Joseph Schubert, a 22-year-old peacock spider specialist.He's now written up 12 of the 85 known species in this group. He often gets sent specimens to identify, but also conducts fieldwork. The names of the new species a...
Male black widow spiders hijack silk strands of their rivals to find a mate

Male black widow spiders hijack silk strands of their rivals to find a mate

Science
Aug. 2 (UPI) -- To find mates, male black widow spiders follow the silk trails left by their rivals, according to a new study. The revelation, detailed this week in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, surprised scientists at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Scientists assumed males followed the scents, or pheromones, released by females and avoided those emitted by males. It is the pattern followed by most mate-seeking insects. "We expect males to use female cues to find a potential mate, and use those left by their rivals to avoid them," Catherine Scott, a doctoral candidate at UTSC, said in a news release. "We found male black widows follow rather than avoid rival males, using their silk trails as highways that rapidly lead them to a female's web, even if they can't s...
Ancient tailed spider trapped in amber offers insights into origin of spiders

Ancient tailed spider trapped in amber offers insights into origin of spiders

Science
Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Scientists have discovered a new spider species, an arachnid with a tail, hiding in a piece of ancient amber.The amber fossil is roughly 100 million years old and could offer new insights into the origin and evolution of spiders during the Cretaceous period. Amber sourced from Myanmar has become a popular source of scientistic discoveries in recent years."Interest stepped up about ten years ago when it was discovered this amber was mid-Cretaceous," Paul Selden, a paleontologist at the University of Kansas, said in a news release. "Therefore, all the insects found in it were much older than first thought."Selden is the author of a paper describing the spider species, published this week in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution."It's [amber] been coming into China where de...