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    99 million-year-old spider mummies reveal moms cared for teeny spiderlings

    The now extinct female of the Lagonomegopidae spider family protects the egg sac with a hollow tree. (Image credits: Drawn by Xiaoran Zuo, Xiangbo Guo, Paul Selden, Dong Ren, Bulletin of the Royal Society B (2021))

    Large-eyed spiders may have protected the egg sac when trapped in sticky wood resin about 99 million years ago, and may have taken care of already hatched spiders. .. Researchers say the resin has hardened and trapped arachnid moms in four masses of amber recently mined in Myanmar, which is now considered the oldest evidence of spider mother care. ..

    This finding is not unexpected, but given that many spider mothers are taking care of their offspring these days, “it’s great to get real physical evidence from these little snapshots of fossil records. “, Said professor emeritus Paul Selden, a collaborative researcher. The University of Kansas Department of Geology told Live Science.

    Related: Mother of 10 animals carrying a baby

    According to Selden, the most unusual of the four amber masses is the part of the egg sac that holds the large female spider underneath.This spider’s facial appendages, prickly legs and trichomes, or “sensing hairs” are members of the Lagonomegopidae family, a group of now extinct spiders that lived in the northern hemisphere during the northern hemisphere. Shows Cretaceous (145 to 66 million years ago). According to Selden, the mother’s protective attitude towards the egg sac suggests her care.

    “A woman with an egg sac with a small spider inside-that’s exactly where you’ll find a female spider guarding an egg,” Selden told Live Science. “So it really is the behavior of a typical female spider that is instantly captured by this fossilization process.”

    Amber even preserved the silk thread that wraps the spider’s eggs. Some scientists believe that spiders originally used silk to bundle eggs and then used them for other purposes, such as the web, Selden said.

    The mother spider, placed on the egg sac, was captured by tree resin about 99 million years ago. (Image credits: Xiangbo Guo, Paul Selden, Dong Ren; Proceedings of the Royal Society B (2021))

    The other three specimens are 24 freshly hatched spiders, 26 other, and 34 freshly hatched spiders, some silk spider silk, and some arthropod legs. , Holding a bee. Since the freshly hatched turtles in each specimen are about the same size, each piece may contain a unique group of spider siblings. They also have Lagonomegopidae features, such as two large eyes in front of their head. Jumping spider Today, the researchers said.These large eyes indicate that Lagonomegopid spiders are likely Free hunter, not web builder, Web-building spiders usually have poor eyesight.

    One of the freshly hatched amber specimens contains detritus, which is entwined with spider silk. This may have been part of a nest that the mother created to protect the egg sac. This suggests that the freshly hatched turtles did not disperse immediately, but remained in the nest with their mother after hatching, the researchers said.

    However, these spiders reached their sticky ends when trapped in wood resin and eventually hardened to amber. Freshly hatched turtles may have died shortly after they emerged from the egg, and some of the arthropod appendages stored next to them may be the mother’s paws, researchers said. Said.

    Related: Incredible photo of a peacock spider

    Image 1/2

    A photo of a spider that died in sap in what is now Myanmar about 99 million years ago.

    A photo of a spider that died in sap in what is now Myanmar about 99 million years ago. (Image credits: Xiangbo Guo, Paul Selden, Dong Ren; Proceedings of the Royal Society B (2021))

    Image 2/2

    Photographs of arthropod parts, wood fibers, and spider silk preserved in amber.

    Photographs of arthropod parts, wood fibers, and spider silk preserved in amber. (Image credits: Xiangbo Guo, Paul Selden, Dong Ren; Proceedings of the Royal Society B (2021))

    Ethical considerations

    Four amber debris were mined in Danai, a village in northern Myanmar, before 2017. Danai was when the Myanmar army took control of the country’s amber mines and began to pocket profits. Scientists are urging to study amber fossils mined after hijacking to avoid funding Tamadu, which hijacked all of Myanmar (not just mines) in a military coup d’etat in February 2021. I’m discouraging. According to a letter from the Society of Vertebrate Paleozoology..

    The four amber specimens are currently housed in the major laboratories for insect evolution and environmental change in the Department of Life Sciences at the Capital Normal University in Beijing, China, and are curated by collaborative researcher Don Len.

    The study will be published online in the journal on Wednesday (September 15th). Bulletin of the Royal Society B: Biological Science..

    Originally published in Live Science.

    99 million-year-old spider mummies reveal moms cared for teeny spiderlings Source link 99 million-year-old spider mummies reveal moms cared for teeny spiderlings

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