A fossil of a giant spider that lived millions of years ago has been discovered in Australia. Scary!
It’s an arachnophobe’s worst nightmare. A few weeks ago, a team of paleontologists discovered a spider fossil in a rainforest area in New South Wales, Australia – also known as McGrath’s Flatten. According to an article published on Monday, September 25 Scientific alertThis fossil Megamonodontium mccluskyi Only changes The fourth spider fossil found on the continent. Beyond its rarity, this find has another fascinating feature, as it is a “giant” specimen. This was done by the Australian team for body measurements Megamonodontium McClusky, And at least we can say they are impressive. His body is only 2.3 centimeters. Adding to the size of its legs, the insect barely fits in the palm of your hand.
Moreover, the quality of its preservation allowed scientists at the University of Canberra to study this insect in minute detail from the Miocene era – eleven to sixteen million years ago.
Science in the service of history
Virologist Michael Freese from the University of Canberra, who scanned the fossils using stackable photomicrography, explains how this spider works. “Scanning electron microscopy allowed us to study Tiny details of pedipalps, legs and claws and spines The main body of the spider“, he tells the media. And to continue about the functionality of this model: “Sette [poils très denses] Hair-like structures with multiple functions.” In addition to making sounds, their presence above all provides the spider with protection against dangers by detecting the presence of chemicals and vibrations.
An exceptional find
The rarity and lack of reference of this discovery complicates the work of scientists. “That’s why it is discovery very important”Michael Freese emphasized. “Reveals new information about it Fills a gap in our understanding of the extinction and past of spiders“, adds the man of science. Millions of years later, a relative of this species still lives, but on a different continent. “[Ce “cousin”] It now lives in rainforests from Singapore to Papua New Guinea. This suggests that this group once occupied similar environments on mainland Australia, but it Australia then became extinct as it became too dry.”
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