Scientists have created a mutant daddy longlegs in a lab, suppressing the genes that give this spider its notable legs to create a “daddy short legs.”

There are over 6,500 species of daddy longlegs, all being characterized by their very long and flexible legs. Scientists developed this mutant spider by singling out the specific gene that gives this species their extra long legs, creating an individual arachnid without that specific gene. This resulted in a spider with the same characteristics but with mutated legs that are much shorter.

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Lead author Guilherme Gainett, a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told Live Science, “Our purpose was not just to shorten their legs just for the sake of it. We wanted to understand more about how these fascinating creatures evolved their alien way of locomotion and body plan.” 

This experiment created a species of daddy longlegs that has its own unique features and capabilities. They did not have the characteristic long legs but their shorter legs were very flexible and still worked as they should. However, all of the hatched mutant spiders died before reaching adulthood.

This experiment is an example of how humans harm and exploit other creatures for their own curiosity. While there may be some application in the future, was it really necessary to exploit these poor creatures? Why can’t we just let other creatures be?

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