One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large spider of a group that includes the tarantulas, trapdoor spiders, and funnel-web spiders. Mygalomorphs have several primitive features, including fangs that stab downwards rather than towards one another.
Suborder Mygalomorphae, order Araneae
- ‘To imitate a mygalomorph, put your index and middle fingers in front of your mouth and move them up and down.’
- ‘All mygalomorphs have two pairs of ventral booklungs that operate on the principle of infusion rather than the more efficient system of inhalation.’
- ‘Previously, the earliest known mygalomorphs, described in 1990, were about 100 million years old.’
- ‘These spiders are easily distinguished from the mygalomorphs because they move their jaws sideways, like a pair of pliers.’
- ‘Female tarantulas like other mygalomorphs are able to moult after reaching maturity.’
1920s: from modern Latin Mygalomorphae, from Greek mugalē ‘shrew’ + morphē ‘form’.
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