Best of 2016 // #81: The first Spider

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This frightening looking fella is Idmonarachne brasieri.  It’s less than half an inch long, and is the earliest example of a true spider.  It’s roughly 305 million years old and was found preserved inside a hunk of siderite mineral.  /READ MORE// Mind-Controlled Prostheses Let Hands Feel Again

Since it was inside a chunk of rock, Russell Garwood, palaeontologist at the University of Manchester to digitally reconstruct the fossil in impressive detail.

“It tells us the order in which things evolved in spiders,” says Garwood. “The front half evolved first; the limbs and mouthparts are very close to true spiders. But the back half is still rather primitive.”

The team published their findings in March.

There’s 99 more stories from 2016.  Check out the Best of 2016 series here

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