165-Million-Year-Old Spider Fossil Preserves Original Features

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New fossils from the Middle Jurassic period show what at least one species of spider, Eoplectreurys gertschi, looked like when dinosaurs dominated the planet.

Check out the incredible detail on this fossil. Credit for all images goes to Paul Selden of the University of Kansas.

 

Paul Selden

The findings, published in the journal Naturwissenschaften, extend the fossil record for this particular family of spiders by at least 120 million years, and suggest that these spiders plummeted in numbers, losing much of their original range.

Selden and co-author Diying Huang write, "This small family is restricted to southwestern USA, Mexico and the adjacent Caribbean area today." The fossils, however, were excavated at Inner Mongolia, China.

The newly found fossils are also significant because they "preserve nearly all of the characteristics of this small family" of spiders, down to the most minute details.

To learn more about Selden and his work, please visit his website.