Nephila Jurassica: The Largest Spider Fossil Ever Found
Spiders are small arthropods, famous for their elasticity, strength and web-making abilities. For some people, spiders are not welcome in the home; as soon as they see one crawling on the ceiling, the first thought that comes to mind is to swat it at once.
But spiders predate us humans by a long way. And while sometimes spiders are tiny creatures, a team of scientists has discovered the largest spider fossil ever in a layer of volcanic ash in Ningcheng County, Inner Mongolia, China. The research was carried out by Paleontologist Professor Paul Selden, of the University of Kansas, with his team.
Named Nephila jurassica, this 165-million-year-old fossil is 2.5 cm in length and has a leg span of almost 9 cm. It is currently the largest known fossilized spider, and is from the family known as Nephilidae, the largest web-weaving spiders alive today.
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