Largest Spider Fossil Found By Paul Selden In Middle Jurassic of China (Photo)

By on Apr 21, 2011 in Science Comments
Largest Spider Fossil
Largest Spider Fossil
Image Credit: Live Science

UPDATE: Click here to see a video of the dangerous Brown Recluse Spider
The largest fossil spider was discovered by scientists led by Paul Selden buried in the ancient volcanic ash in Inner Mongolia, China, according to a report by Live Science.

The 165-million-year-old spider called Nephila jurassica, has tufts of hairlike fibers on its legs which reveals that this arachnid is the oldest known species of  the golden orb-weavers, or Nephila.

The spider is so big that it can catch birds and bats, and use its silk cover its victim.

The body of the fossil is about one inch (2.5 centimeters) wide and its legs reaches up to 2.5 inches (6.3 cm) long.

According to the director of the Paleontological Institute at the University of Kansas, Paul Selden, “It would have lived, like today’s Nephila, in its orb web of golden silk in a clearing in a forest, or more likely at the edge of a forest close to the lake.” He added that there “would have been volcanoes nearby producing the ash that forms the lake sediment it is entombed within.” “There were many large or medium-sized flying insects around at that time on which it would have fed indiscriminately,” Selden said.


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