This ancient creature looks like a spider with a tail | Science News

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This ancient creature looks like a spider with a tail

Silk spinners and spidery male sex organs mix with nonspider traits

By
3:35pm, February 6, 2018
Chimerarachne yingi

SEE THE TAIL  Trapped in amber for 100 million years, a tiny extinct beast resembles a spider, except for its long, skinny tail.

What looks like a spider, but with a segmented rear plus a long spike of a tail, has turned up in amber that’s about 100 million years old.

Roughly the size of a peppercorn (not including the tail, which stretches several times the body length), this newly described extinct species lived in forests in what is now Myanmar during the dinosaur-rich Cretaceous Period.

Spiders as their own distinctive group had evolved long before. Whether this tailed creature should be considered a true spider (of the group Araneae) is debatable though, researchers acknowledge February 5 in two studies in Nature Ecology & Evolution. In one of the papers, the fossils’ chimeric mash-up of traits both spidery and nonspidery inspired Bo Wang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Nanjing and colleagues to name the species Chimerarachne yingi.

C. yingi indeed has

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