Like straight from a Jurassic Park movie- this extraordinary new species of arachnid that is very similar to a spider with a tail, has been found suspended in amber, according to several new studies.
The creature has fangs and 8 legs and lived around 100 million years ago. Similar to the scorpions today, the insect had a whip-like tail, unlike modern spiders.
The ‘spider’ was discovered in Myanmar.
A 100-Million-Year-Old ‘Spider’ With a Tail
According to Paul Selden from University of Kansas and co-author of one of the studies, there’s been a lot of amber produced from the north of Myanmar and the interest increased around 10 years ago when it was found that this amber was mid-Cretaceous.
So, all of the insects that were discovered in it were much older than it was originally thought.
The amber often traveled to China where the dealers have been making sales to the institutions that do research.
These specimens were available last year to Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology. The creatures were small with a length of around 2/10s of an inch, the tail included.
It’s very similar to a spider and its fangs it has 4 walking legs and silk-making spinnerets at the back.
But, its tail is long and no living spider we know of today has a tail.
The New Unusual Species Was Named
The new species was named Chimerachne yingi or chimaera spider. It comes from the Chimera; a Greek mythological hybrid creature consisted of parts of more than one animal.
But, the scientists have only guesses about the bugs’ lives. They speculate that since it was trapped in amber, they probably lived on or around trunks of trees.
Amber is fossilized resin so in order for a spider to be trapped in it, it may have lived under bark or in the moss of the tree’s foot.
Scientists Are Disagreeing
The two papers don’t agree on where the animal should be placed in the evolutionary tree because of the mixture of ancient and modern characteristics.
One study puts it within extinct spider relatives whereas the other claims it could be one of the first real spiders.
In order to agree on its categorization, scientists will need additional samples of the animal.