Tailed spider found in amber will crawl into your nightmares

Tailed spider found in amber will crawl into your nightmares

Tailed spider found in amber will crawl into your nightmares

But Bo Wang, also at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Nanjing, and his colleagues examined two other fossils of the species and argue that its advanced silk-spinning apparatus shows it was part of a lineage of tailed spiders that survived until at least 100 million years ago. In the last few years, we've seen some incredible finds inside amber, including a tick in the middle of a meal, an otherworldly insect, a bug that's jumped out of its skin, mammalian red blood cells, and a dinosaur tail complete with feathers.

Amber from Myanmar has been mined for thousands of years and traded with China as jewellery.

Apart from legs, front claws, and spinnerets organs (appendices used to make silk threads and spiderwebs), this very old spiders also had a short-haired tail similar to the tail of the Scorpions.

"We have known for a decade or so that spiders evolved from arachnids that had tails, more than 315 million years ago", Russell Garwood of The University of Manchester, a co-researcher on the study, told the BBC.

The creatures are less than a quarter-inch long (5.5 millimeters) including their tails, which account for half that length. These animals, from the much older Devonian (about 380 million years ago) and Permian (about 290 million years ago) periods, formed the basis of a new arachnid order, the Uraraneida, which lies along the line to modern spiders.

"Chimerarachne fills the gap between Palaeozoic arachnids with tails known from rocks (uraraneids) and true spiders, and the fact the new fossils have been wonderfully preserved in Burmese amber has allowed an unmatched detail of study", he said.

The ancient arachnid bears a resemblance to modern spiders. "These specimens became available previous year to Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology". However, the researchers are taking their time in actually classifying this new creature because they want to be absolutely sure that it either belongs in an existing category or is the first example of an entirely new branch. Each spider was about 3mm long with a tail measuring up to 5mm.

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Researchers think the spiders lived among the trees due to their amber coffins.

The primitive creepy crawly is so scary it has been named after a monster from Greek mythology that was made of the parts of more than one creature.

The studies appeared Monday in the peer-reviewed British journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.

Prof Selden said the spider's remote habitat made it possible that tailed descendants may still be alive in Myanmar's back country to this day.

An artist's conception of what these tailed proto-spiders may have looked like. Vinegaroons, or "whip scorpions", are close living relatives of spiders that sport tails, and the same research team has previously discovered older arachnids with tails but no spinnerets. It makes us wonder if these may still be alive today.

Amber can give us an unprecedented view into prehistoric life, preserving softer elements that regular fossilization just can't.

"These are gorgeous creatures and would probably never harm a human, like 99.99% of the spiders", he said as reported by The Guardian.

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