California Science & Technology News

Rare Prehistoric Spider Fossil Discovered In China

Three years after scientists made the astonishing discovery of a large prehistoric spider fossil in China, the same team have uncovered another.

The original female fossil, found in the Daohugou beds of Inner Mongolia in 2011, was so well preserved experts claimed it was part of the Nephila species.

Yet the latest discovery of a similar-sized male fossil casts serious doubt over this theory because its relative size doesn't fit the Nephila mould.

In fact, the researchers were so baffled by the differences, they have proposed a new genus called Mongolarachne, to describe the creature.

Professor Paul Selden from Kansas University was part of the research team that discovered both fossilised spiders.

Spider fossils are rare because their bodies are soft, yet this pair was found in volcanic deposits and experts believe these deposits may have buried the pair at the bottom of a lake, perfectly preserving them.

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