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Ancient tailed spider trapped in amber offers insights into origin of spiders

Ancient tailed spider trapped in amber offers insights into origin of spiders

Science
Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Scientists have discovered a new spider species, an arachnid with a tail, hiding in a piece of ancient amber.The amber fossil is roughly 100 million years old and could offer new insights into the origin and evolution of spiders during the Cretaceous period. Amber sourced from Myanmar has become a popular source of scientistic discoveries in recent years."Interest stepped up about ten years ago when it was discovered this amber was mid-Cretaceous," Paul Selden, a paleontologist at the University of Kansas, said in a news release. "Therefore, all the insects found in it were much older than first thought."Selden is the author of a paper describing the spider species, published this week in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution."It's [amber] been coming into China where de...
Study reveals 18 new pelican spider species

Study reveals 18 new pelican spider species

Science
Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Researchers with the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History have discovered 18 new species of pelican spider, a group of arachnids that look as absurd as they sound.The new species were discovered living in the jungles of Madagascar, an African island in the Indian Ocean that hosts a plethora of endemic plant and animal species -- species not found anywhere else on Earth.Arachnologists Hannah Wood and Nikolaj Scharff conducted their survey using specimens collected during their own field work as well as spiders found during an arthropod survey organized by the California Academy of Sciences.Most spiders are opportunistic, eating whatever gets stuck in their web. As such, many spiders occasionally eat other spiders. Pelican spiders, however, eat only other spiders...
New species of spider revealed, named after Bob Marley

New species of spider revealed, named after Bob Marley

Science
Dec. 27 (UPI) -- A new species of water-adapted spiders has been discovered on Australia's coral reefs, with researchers naming it after reggae star Bob Marley for his song "High Tide or Low Tide."The team of researchers that discovered Desis bobmarleyi sp. n -- Dr. Barbara Baehr, Dr. Robert Raven and Dr. Danilio Harms of the University of Queensland and the University of Hamburg -- named the spider based on it's ability to survive both in and out of water.The intertidal spiders adapted to become true marine animals, the researchers say, adjusting to life underwater by hiding in barnacle shells, kelp or corals during high tide along the coast of Australia's Queensland state.They developed air chambers to breathe, using silk, and when the tide recedes they can be found hunting small inverte...