What has eight legs, scorpion-like claws, and no eyes?
It sounds like something out of a horror film, but it lives in Yosemite Park -- a Bay Area recreational destination. It's a new species of arachnid that lives in caves, discovered by a group of biologists.
The animal, now named parobisium yosemite, tends to adopt an attack posture when confronted by humans: claws out, ready to strike. But don't get too nervous: they're only about the size of a fingernail.
There's still a lot to learn about the newly-found species. Similar organisms prey on insects and each other, but captive parobisium yosemite have so far ignored bugs placed in front of them. Researchers are also puzzled by the location of the creatures, since they were found in unstable caves that haven't existed for very long.
They're fascinating examples of a class of animal called "pseudoscorpion," which resemble scorpions but lack a stinger. They're generally regarded as beneficial, since they eat pests. Though many pseudoscorpions have venom, they're far too small to affect humans. Another weird trait: they can spin cocoons to keep warm.
Californians have been confronted with plenty of reminders lately of the natural world around us. In nearby Aptos, residents spotted a mountain lion prowling the town a few months ago. Since then, they've managed to live alongside the animal without incident. It's a far cry from the response in Berkeley, where police shot and killed a mountain lion that was wondering through a residential area.