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A Fossilized Scene of a Spider Attacking a Wasp, Preserved for 110 Million Years
IO9 ^ | October 9, 2012 | George Dvorsky

Posted on 10/09/2012 2:04:50 PM PDT by DogByte6RER

A Fossilized Scene of a Spider Attacking a Wasp, Preserved for 110 Million Years

A Fossilized Scene of a Spider Attacking a Wasp, Preserved for 110 Million Years

Paleontologists have discovered beautifully preserved species trapped in amber before — but this one is extraordinary. It features a parasitic wasp that has become ensnared in a spider's web, with the owner bearing down on it for an attack. But just before the spider was about to have its meal, a drop of resin flowed down from above, freezing the moment in time. Researchers date the scene to the Early Cretaceous between 97 to 110 million years ago in the Hukawng Valley of Myanmar — a time when dinosaurs would have most certainly been in the neighborhood. And in addition to the dramatic scene, the fossil also contains the body of a male spider in the same web — the first evidence of spider social behavior in the paleontological record.

Spider sociality still exists in some species, but it is very rare. Today, most spiders live solitary lives, often resorting to cannibalism — including males who often attack immature species in the same web.

But as for catching unsuspecting prey in a web, that appears to be an evolutionary strategy that has survived the test of time. And in fact, spiders are an ancient invertebrate that first emerged about 200 million years ago. The oldest fossilized record of a spider dates back to 130 million years ago. This recent discovery is considered the first and only fossilized example of a spider attack on prey caught in its web.

The specimen trapped in the resin is an orb-weaver spider, a social species that has now been described by the researchers in their new paper which appears in Historical Biology. As for the wasp, it's closely related to a species that still exists today — one that is known to parasitize spider and insect eggs.

It would seem that the wasp had it coming.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; History; Miscellaneous; Pets/Animals; Reference; Science
KEYWORDS: amber; bc; bugs; cretaceousperiod; fossil; godsgravesglyphs; paleontology; spider; wasp
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To: AndyTheBear
the ghost of Darwin

Darwin's work was modernized by a ghost writer named Steve Jones.

41 posted on 10/09/2012 4:27:20 PM PDT by OldNavyVet
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To: AndyTheBear

Probably by that method. They don’t use Carbon dating for something that old. Probably by dating layers of rock above and below using other radioactive elements. It would be interesting to know what method they used.


42 posted on 10/09/2012 4:29:26 PM PDT by albionin
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To: DogByte6RER

‘100 million’ years and they haven’t evolved at all? A wasp is still a wasp and a spider is still a spider, hum?


43 posted on 10/09/2012 4:30:25 PM PDT by Doulos1 (Bitter Clinger Forever!)
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To: OldNavyVet

Thanks. That’s just about the only book of hers that I haven’t read and I didn’t recognize the quote.


44 posted on 10/09/2012 4:37:00 PM PDT by albionin
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To: wbarmy

Well I’m sure the researchers have a good reason for claiming the age of the fossil? I mean they probably didn’t just pick an age out of a hat seeing as how their professional reputations are on the line. Do you have some reason to doubt their findings?


45 posted on 10/09/2012 5:01:25 PM PDT by albionin
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To: OldNavyVet
Darwin's work was modernized by a ghost writer named Steve Jones.

A ghost writer! Well that explains how he was able to talk to Darwin's ghost...was the book transcribed by seance?

46 posted on 10/09/2012 5:05:59 PM PDT by AndyTheBear
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To: DogByte6RER
I have arachnophobia and seeing that photo made me jump out of my skin - even though the spider has been dead for 110,000,000 years.

By the way, that really was a long time ago. No internet. No computers. No pan-seared salmon over jasmine rice and asparagus.

47 posted on 10/09/2012 5:18:23 PM PDT by SamAdams76
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To: null and void; TheOldLady
Like you didn't see this comin'....;]


48 posted on 10/09/2012 6:04:48 PM PDT by Salamander (Can't sleep. Clowns will eat me.)
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To: SamAdams76

Do you like snakes?

:)


49 posted on 10/09/2012 6:06:14 PM PDT by Salamander (Can't sleep. Clowns will eat me.)
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To: albionin

Yes, there are quite a few studies showing that the dating of the rocks above and below a biological find are cherry picked to show a specific age already decided upon.


50 posted on 10/09/2012 6:06:14 PM PDT by wbarmy (I chose to be a sheepdog once I saw what happens to the sheep.)
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To: Doulos1

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”?


51 posted on 10/09/2012 6:08:51 PM PDT by Salamander (Can't sleep. Clowns will eat me.)
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To: wbarmy
Yes, there are quite a few studies showing that the dating of the rocks above and below a biological find are cherry picked to show a specific age already decided upon.

Yep.

Every bit as evil as cherry picking Bible quotes to justify, say, slavery (to name just one thing that's been done with).

52 posted on 10/09/2012 6:24:40 PM PDT by null and void (Day 1358 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Obama, a queer and present danger)
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To: OldNavyVet

Yes, it’s obvious that spiders and wasps have evolved mightily in the past 110 million years.


53 posted on 10/09/2012 6:33:06 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: wbarmy

Do you have evidence that that was done by these scientists? Let us hear your evidence. Otherwise why are you making arbitrary accusations.


54 posted on 10/09/2012 6:37:34 PM PDT by albionin
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To: stevio
Amazing. 100 million years and a spider still looks like a spider and a wasp still looks like a wasp. I guess evolution missed these two.

We are not suppose to point out obvious observable evidence.

55 posted on 10/09/2012 7:50:57 PM PDT by Just mythoughts (Please help Todd Akin defeat Claire and the GOP-e send money!!!!!)
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To: AndyTheBear
"How did they date the fossil?"

Probably plied her with wine and falafal.


56 posted on 10/09/2012 8:11:03 PM PDT by Rebelbase (The most transparent administration ever is clear as mud.)
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To: SamAdams76

Be careful how your salmon is cooked.


57 posted on 10/10/2012 4:56:10 AM PDT by Hostage (Be Breitbart!)
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To: wbarmy; OldNavyVet
[OldNavyVet:] Might I ask what you think evolution is?

A theory that is given little if any support by the simple existence of life 97 to 110 million years ago.

And the proof that this occurred 97 to 110 million years ago?

I've stipulated it for purposes of my exchange with OldNavyVet.

58 posted on 10/10/2012 8:40:05 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: OldNavyVet
Darwin's theory is now proven to a degree that few question it.

Erm - this article has squat to do with evolution. Maybe learn to recognize what evolution is and isn't before pontificating about degrees of provenness.

Might I ask what you think evolution is?

A theory that is given little if any support by the simple existence of life 97 to 110 million years ago.

From Ayn Rand, we have ...

In the history of philosophy—with some very rare exceptions—epistemological theories have consisted of attempts to escape one or the other of the two fundamental questions which cannot be escaped. Men have been taught either that knowledge is impossible (skepticism)

Sorry, you can't hide the irrelevance of your interjecting Darwin behind Rand's skirts. It's not "skepticism" to note that the existence of life 97 to 110 million years ago is entirely compatible with the falsity of Darwin's theory.

59 posted on 10/10/2012 8:46:33 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies
"... the existence of life 97 to 110 million years ago is entirely compatible with the falsity of Darwin's theory."

To the contrary, the existence of life 97 to 110 million years ago is entirely incompatible with Biblical, aka creationist, thinking.

60 posted on 10/10/2012 9:55:36 AM PDT by OldNavyVet
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