Feeds

Fossil reveals spider in mid-strike

Predator and prey, together forever

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A hundred million years ago, an amber flow spoiled a spider’s day: it had waited, possibly for hours, to ambush a wasp in its web, and just as it decided to strike, spider, wasp and web were all trapped forever.

The good news for us is that it’s turned up at a dig in Myanmar's Hukawng Valley, and here's what it looks like:

Caught in the attack. Source: Oregon State University

The Early Cretaceous fossil preserves – with stunning clarity – the juvenile spider about to make a meal of a parasitic wasp that was trapped in its web. As Oregon State University professor emeritus George Poinar Jr put it: "This was the wasp's worst nightmare, and it never ended. The wasp was watching the spider just as it was about to be attacked, when tree resin flowed over and captured both of them."

The findings, published in Historical Biology, represent the first time a spider attack has been found as a fossil. The spider is an orb weaver, Poinar said; relatives still exist today, although the kind in the amber is extinct. The wasp is a relative of species which today are parasites on both spiders and their eggs.

There are also fifteen unbroken strands of the spider’s web also preserved in the fossil, the researchers say. More at Oregon State University. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.