Scientists Discover 100 Million-Year-Old Spider That Had Tail

posted by Bill Galluccio -

It turns out dinosaurs were not the only terrifying creature to roam the earth one-hundred-million years ago. Scientists recently discovered a new species of spider that had a scorpion-like tail. They found the one hundred-million-year-old spider-like creature encased in amber in Southeast Asia according to Yahoo! News. 

Bo Wang, who is one of the lead authors of the study, believes the new discovery is the missing link in the evolution of arachnids because the creature has both a tail and silk-making spinnerets. 

It's a missing link between the ancient Uraraneida order, which resemble spiders but have tails and no silk-making spinnerets, and modern spiders, which lack tails

The spiders were extremely tiny, measuring just six millimeters long, with the tail making up half of the length. Due to their small size, studying them has been difficult for scientists. According to CNN, they were unable to determine if the creatures were venomous because their fangs were too small to examine.

Studying the evolution of spiders is difficult because they lack an internal skeleton, do not fossilize well. Scientists best hope to study them comes from fossilized amber, which can preserve both the internal and external structures of spiders. But, the earliest fossilized amber only dates back 250 million years, leaving scientists with very few clues about what spiders or other similar insects were like before that. 

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