Meet Brian. He surfs waves to find prey and is named after World Science Festival Co-Founder Professor Brian Greene.
Brian's real name is Dolomedes briangreenei. And he is the first of a newly discovered species, similar to the water spider (or Dolomedes genus if you want to get all scientific) which is extremely common in Queensland.
Dolomedes briangreenei use waves to find their prey, which range from tadpoles to fish and frogs. And with the Cane Toad remaining a pest in the state, the spider will assist in managing the population.
Dolomedes briangreenei, aka Brian
Professor Brian Greene, a leading string theorist, was in Queensland on Wednesday for the launch of the World Science Festival in Brisbane when he met the surfing spider.
“With the announcement last month of humankind’s first detection of gravitational waves -- ripples on the surface of space and time -- I am particularly honoured to be so closely associated with a spider that has its own deep affinity for waves,” said Professor Greene at the launch.
The professor wasn't the only one impressed. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was particularly pleased with the naming of the little guy.
“It’s wonderful that this beautiful native spider, which relies on waves for its very survival, has found a namesake in a man who is one of the world’s leading experts in exploring and explaining the effects of waves in our universe,” Premier Palaszczuk said at the launch.