In a cave on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, never-before-seen creatures were found that resembled scorpions. But they’re not scorpions. They don’t have a venomous stinger, and they don’t have eyes. The aptly named “pseudoscorpions” live in total darkness, so the eyes apparently were not a necessity as they evolved.
J. Judson Wynne from the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University told Live Science, “The tiny cave where the team discovered the new species â€” just 250 feet (76 meters) in length â€” nevertheless supports the highest diversity of cave-adapted arthropods of any known cave in the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument.”
The fake scorpions were first discovered in 2005, but it has taken years to verify that they are indeed new species. Co-author of the study Mark Harvey told Live Science, “In this case, the team found that one of the species had a thickened pair of legs and a mound on the pincer, while another had a much deeper pincer than other pseudoscorpions â€” qualifying each as a distinct species.”
Scorpion-like insects have a habit of using their pinchers to grab hold of other animals and hitchhike long distances. This allows them to spread their genes a greater distance and also might explain how the previous desert-living insect evolved into a cave-dweller.