Ancient Amber encased spider’s web found

These  tiny tangled threads of the world’s oldest spider web encased in a prehistoric piece of amber” was found by a young boy beachcombing. Inside the amber stone is the remains of a  140-million-year-old web provides evidence that arachnids had been ensnaring their prey in silky webs since the dinosaur age.  These strands of the web were linked to each other in a roughly circular BRITAIN SPIDER WEBpattern similar to the pattern that garden spiders  the world over weave today.

Oxford University paleobiologist Martin Brasier said. “This seems to confirm that spiders were building orb webs back in the early Cretaceous” — the geological term for the period of time between 145.5 and 65.5 million years ago when dinosaurs and small mammals shared the earth.

Spider experts believe that webs were developed even earlier, but the delicate gossamer threads rarely leave any trace. Amber, or fossilized tree resin, can occasionally conserve bits of web — an earlier find in Lebanon was dated to 130 million years ago, according to Brasier.

Excerpts and photo courtesy of Yahoo News

AP – RAPHAEL G. SATTER, A P   Dec. 15, 2008

image paleobiologist Martin Brasier …



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