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This article's title is a nickname, based upon conjecture or similar.
The correct title is unknown.
The Carboniferous Arachnids were a species of Solifugae, a distinct arachnid order, from the Carboniferous period. They were not true spiders, but were still arachnids.
Carboniferous Arachnids were large invertebrates which could grow to over a meter long and wide. Carboniferous Arachnids possessed an anatomy closely resembling that of spiders, but they had large pincers in place of fangs, and apparently did not produce webbing or venom. The Arachnids nested in very large groups, and apparently had a siege mentality towards intruders in their territory - the Arachnids tended to react with aggression towards aforementioned intruders, and would use sheer numbers to fight off and overwhelm animals larger and stronger than themselves. Carboniferous Arachnids were sensitive to light, and therefore avoided and fled from it even in their own territory, and preferred dark and damp places. (Episode 1.2)
Incursions and encounters
A large colony of Carboniferous Arachnids came through an Anomaly into the London Underground beneath Arsenal Station in the present, and the Arachnids nested in an abandoned bunker by the Anomaly. Some of the Arachnids would sometimes leave the nest and stalk nearby tunnels in the Underground.
One Carboniferous Arachnid attacked a stopped train and tried to bite a passenger through an open window, but the passenger saw the creature and shut the window on it, severing one of its legs. A Carboniferous Arachnid later stalked and eventually attacked a pest controller in the Underground tunnels.
When the Home Office learned of the Anomaly incursion, a squad of soldiers lead by Tom Ryan was sent into the Carboniferous Arachnids' nest in an abandoned underground shelter. The Arachnids began to descend on the squad from the ceiling, biting one soldier on the neck. They almost overwhelmed the team until bright light from a gunshot made the Arachnids flee back into hiding.
Using the Carboniferous Arachnids' aversion to light, Ryan and his men later used torches to drive all the Arachnids in the abandoned bunkers back through the Anomaly en masse.
- The Carboniferous Arachnids were probably based on the Mesothelae from Walking With Monsters, a series that had been previously created by Impossible Pictures.
- "Giant Spiders" were listed in Cutter's Matrix. It was unknown whether or not this referred to the Carboniferous Arachnids.
- Prior to the broadcasting of Series 5, Carboniferous Arachnids were speculated to be the swarm that would appear in Episode 5.4. This was proven false when the swarm were revealed to be Future Beetles.
- The Carboniferous Arachnids' pincers and lack of venomous fangs would suggest that they may be more closely related to scorpions than to spiders, and only resemble spiders due to convergent evolution. In Episode 1.2, Stephen noted that the Arachnids were actually probably scorpions rather than true spiders.
- Considering that the species is closely related to solifugae or might even belong to that order, the Carboniferous arachnid could be identified as Protosolpuga carbonaria, a species of extinct carboniferous solifugae.
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