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Arachnids and other odd fellows...



With some trepidation, I'm asking a spin-off question which could annoy some 
of the purists.  This was sparked by the recent discussion of spiders, 
scorpions, and their kin, their age and their relationship with other 
arthropods.

Back in 1972 (the last of the five wonderful years I spent living in Eritrea 
and Ethiopia), I took a trip across the Rift Valley through the eastern part 
of Ethiopia (then known as the Ogaden) to Djibuti (then known as the 
Territory of the Afars and Issas) and back to Addis Ababa.

One night, we camped outside of Dire Dawa (pronounced dee-ray dah-wah, not 
dyer dah-wah).  Sitting around the campfire, I saw some large-ish critters 
crawling toward the light.  I managed to capture one in a jar, and was amazed 
to see that it was neither a spider nor a scorpion, but apparently something 
in between.  It had 10 legs, as I recall, including small but distinct 
pincers, but its abdomen was roundish and spider-like, with no elevated end 
or sting.  Its mouth was more like that of a tarantula, but it had two pairs 
of fangs, not one as a spider has.  I can't recall how many eyes it had, but 
as I recall they were configured more in a spider pattern than like a 
scorpion.

Has anyone any idea what sort of critter this was?  I've long-since lost the 
specimen, but I have notes about it in my journal, which I can probably find 
without too much difficulty.  :)

Thanks in advance for any info.


Skip Dahlgren
Applications Programmer, Office of Educational Development
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Phone: 501/296-1087; FAX: 501/686-7053 
e-mail: sdahlgren@liblan.uams.edu; bcsskip@aol.com
-hirsute (but balding - is that a contradiction in terms?) ex-archaeologist; 
lifelong afficionado of dinosaurs and their latter-day kin 
"You're wasting your time if you try to outsmart a crow!"  :)