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)
Spider, Scorpion, Amber