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  1. Loureedia phoenixi’s bold red and white abdomen inspired the researchers’ homage A strikingly patterned new species of velvet spider has been discovered in Iran, with an abdomen covered in striking red and white splotches reminding researchers of Batman comics’ villain the Joker’s iconic face paint—so they named it after the actor Joaquin Phoenix, who starred in 2019’s Joker. The spider in question was dubbed Loureedia phoenixi. The life of velvet spiders, named Loureedia after the guitarist and singer of the Velvet Underground, Lou Reed, is quite a grisly one. Before her spiderlings hatch, a female velvet spider begins to biologically prepare her body so that it can be easily digested by her offspring. Once the babies have hatched, they first feed their young by regurgitating food, but all the while their abdominal tissues are continuing to break down. Once complete, the timely degradation gives her young the best chances of survival, as they will feed on their mother's body before heading out into the world, a behavior known as matriphagy. Read about it on: Smithsonian Magazine: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/joker-spider-named-after-joaquin-phoenix-180975220/ I F*cking Love Science: https://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/joker-velvet-spider-named-after-actor-and-animal-rights-activist-joaquin-phoenix/
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