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Spider with a tail found preserved in amber

Posted on Monday, 5 February, 2018 | Comment icon 12 comments

It turns out that spiders once had tails. Image Credit: University of Kansas
Scientists have identified a species of long-tailed proto-spider dating back over 100 million years.
For those terrified of spiders - be thankful that we still don't have these creatures running around.

Found in Myanmar within a piece of amber, this peculiar 'chimera' species is described as such because it appears to possess a combination of both primitive and modern body parts.

In addition to fangs, feelers and silk-producing spinnerets, this prehistoric creepy-crawly also possessed a long tail similar to those found in uraraneids - a type of ancient spider relative.

Scientists believe that the species, named Chimerarachne yingi, could actually be a missing link.

"It's a very primitive group and their relatives were present more than 250 million years ago," said Bo Wang from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Nanjing.

"Maybe the tail originally had a sensory function; it is covered in short hairs, but when spiders changed to lifestyles like being sit-and-wait predators, the tail was no longer really needed and became lost."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (12)

Tags: Spider, Scorpion, Amber

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by XenoFish on 5 February, 2018, 19:31
Tiny facehugger.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Carnoferox on 5 February, 2018, 20:12
Rather than being a "missing link" ancestral to spiders, Chimerarachne is actually a relict of an older group of arachnids.  
Comment icon #5 Posted by TripGun on 5 February, 2018, 20:21
Kill it with fire. Destroy the files.
Comment icon #6 Posted by khol on 5 February, 2018, 20:52
What a great find and amazing speciman!  dating back over 100million yrs   awesome discovery. 
Comment icon #7 Posted by LittleDevil on 5 February, 2018, 21:04
How long till they start cloning from it's preserved DNA?
Comment icon #8 Posted by Carnoferox on 5 February, 2018, 21:15
Never, because there is no DNA preserved in amber inclusions.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Oniomancer on 6 February, 2018, 4:39
I've heard of a movie called When Women Had Tails but this is ridiculous Kind of reminiscent of a vinegaroon.
Comment icon #10 Posted by ChaosRose on 6 February, 2018, 4:51
NOPE! (For a spider that big, I have to put my nope in all caps).
Comment icon #11 Posted by Podo on 6 February, 2018, 22:07
Fantastic discovery. I love amber discoveries.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Rascha on 10 February, 2018, 9:44
Everything back then was HUGE because there was so much oxygen in the atmosphere. Plants, animals, bugs. Most life was much bigger back then.

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