100-Million-Year-Old Spider Attack Recorded in Amber

It Looks like this 100-million-year old spider didn’t get to enjoy its final meal. A rare fossil was revealed by the researchers from Oregon State University that captured the image of a spider attacking an insect that is trapped in its web. This moment is considered as a 100-million-year-old moment and researchers consider the fossil as ‘extremely rare’. This is the first evidence of a spider attacking its prey on its web. The petrified piece of amber shows 15 broken strands of spider silk along with a male spider in the same web. This moment exhibits the social behavior of spiders.

The amber goes out back to the early period of the Cretaceous, that took between approximately 97-110 million years before. According to the studies, it was recovered from the valley of Hukawng in Myanmar, where once dinosaurs wandered. Though the oldest spider goes back to 130 million years, but, spiders seemed to evolve for around 200 million years ago. The famous zoologist George Poinar, in a press release said that, ‘the wasp was watching the spider before being attacked, and a tree resin flowed over that captured both the spider and wasp. He also said that ‘ this moment may the wasp’s worst nightmare’.

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This wonderful snapshots spider is a social orb-weaver spider, known as Geratonephila burmanica and the wasp is from the species of Cascoscelio incassus. According to the studies, both these species do not exist today, but the behavior of the insects from the past is not much different from that of today. This wasp species are known to leech the spider eggs, and hence there is some justice in the attack of the spider. Another spider is also captured in the same web some distance away in the amber.

An amber is a natural preservative formed from the resin and oozes from the trees. This turns into yellow-orange colored sticky substance that preserves the things that gets caught in it. The male spiders are typically found on the webs constructed by female spider, and helps the female spider in capturing their prey as well as maintaining the web.

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