Best of 2012 // #87: The Eternal Struggle

About 100 million years ago, a wasp became ensnared in the webbing a spider.  The spider excited bore down on it’s prey, but before it could tuck in to it’s hard-earned meal, a glob of sap smothered them both.  The sap eventually became amber, and that amber was eventually unearthed in Hukawng Valley in Myanmar.
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Inside the amber are the perfectly preserved remains of the fly and the juvenile spider.  The amber also contains a leg and part of the body of another adult spider that researchers believe came by to see what tasty treats it could find – only to become stuck itself.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime piece…The fact that there’s also a male in this web shows that these were social spiders. It’s a rare event.” – George Poinar Jr, Professor Emeritus of Zoology, Oregon state University.
The find was described last year in the journal Historical Biology.


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