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Amazingly intact spider fossils have been found in Australia

Amazingly intact spider fossils have been found in Australia

Two rare spider fossils they found In New South Wales, Australia. The finds are also interesting because there are so few spider fossils in the first place, but also because one of the finds belongs to a species unknown to science so far.

According to paleontologist Matthew McCurry, in addition, the spiders are preserved in such excellent condition that their structure can be known in the smallest detail.


Megamodontium McCloskey

Photo: Michael Freese

the new Discover species into a new genus (Megamodontium) was classified, after its discoverer Simon McCloskey mccluskyi The spider was only 1 centimeter long, but it is considered a true giant in its field and is currently the second largest spider fossil in the world. The current is similar monodontium About five times for spider species as well LargerThat’s why he got it Megamodontium family name.

Spider jumping alive

The other fossil is smaller, only 2 millimeters, and one, A Simatha It preserves the remains of jumping spiders belonging to the genus. Its special feature is its perfect condition, so that the axons of its central nervous system can be observed under the microscope.


Perfectly preserved cymata

Photo: Michael Freese

Both types of spiders lived in the mid-Miocene epoch, 11 to 16 million years ago. The second fossil confirms the hypothesis that jumping spiders originated in Australia, and from there they later spread to Asia.

In addition to the fact that researchers can learn more about the evolution of spiders through the discoveries, they are also useful for something else: Barry Richardson, discoverer of jumping spiders according to Individuals of both species lived during a period when they had to suddenly adapt to changing conditions, so even today, it is useful to study how the living world responds to these challenges.

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