100-Million-Year-Old Scorpion-Tail Spider Is Discovered In Amber

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100-Million-Year-Old Scorpion-Tail Spider Is Discovered In Amber

No, this isn’t the stuff of alien planets, horror B-movies, or your deepest darkest nightmares, it is very much real! At least it was 100 million years ago when this creature was still alive.

That’s right, two separate teams of archaeological researchers have discovered a brand-new arachnid-like creature. The creature now known as Chimerarachne yingi have the body, features, fangs, and eight legs we would imagine to see on a spider, but also have a sizeable elongated tail much like a scorpion. In many ways, it appears almost as if it is a spider/scorpion hybrid.


Two separate teams of researchers stumbled upon four samples of the creatures, all discovered in quick succession, in the amber markets of Mynamar in South-East Asia. Amber has long been a source of fossils - starting as a liquid tree resin amber picks up creatures and other flora-and-fauna and then solidifies capturing whatever is inside as a future fossil. Who can forget it was a mosquito in Jurassic Park entombed in Amber that allowed the scientists to remove the ‘Dino-DNA’ after millions of years!


The research teams believe that the previously unknown creature lived in what is now the forests of South-East Asia over 100 million years ago in what is known as the Cretaceous period.


Greg Edgecombe, an invertebrate paleobiologist at the Natural History Museum in London, who was not involved in the study, said about the newly discovered creatures that it throws up a combination of characters that initially seems alien to an arachnologist.


Similar to black widow and huntsman spiders, the creature has silk-producing spinnerets at its rear end. Still, unlike contemporary spiders, this newly discovered beast has a long tail like that of a scorpion. One of the teams, led by Gonzalo Giribet, believe that Chimerarachne yingi may belong to a group of extinct spider group called Uraraneida.


Paul Selden, a paleontologist at the University of Kansas and an author of one of the studies, says it is unclear whether the creature is related to spiders or to the ancient Uraraneida or whether Chimerarachne yingi has a whole new branch of the evolutionary tree to itself.


However, there is a good reason to sleep easily, and it is not just because these creatures have likely not been around for tens-of-millions of years. It turns out that these animals are only 2.5mm in length, and the researchers state that their tails were likely no more than a sensory tool as opposed to a gigantic killer stinger. So don’t have nightmares!

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Thinking Humanity: 100-Million-Year-Old Scorpion-Tail Spider Is Discovered In Amber
100-Million-Year-Old Scorpion-Tail Spider Is Discovered In Amber
No, this isn’t the stuff of alien planets, horror B-movies, or your deepest darkest nightmares, it is very much real! At least it was 100 million years ago when this creature was still alive. That’s right, two separate teams of archaeological researchers have discovered a brand-new arachnid-like creature.
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