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Rare Spider Fossil Maintains 100-Million-Year-Old Glowing Eyes



This is a carbon map showing where in the specimen carbon molecules are located, Selden explained to Gizmodo.
Photo: Tae-Yoon S Park

A new spider fossil discovery includes a striking search: lips of the reflective eye tissue.

Although it is common today, spiders do not appear in the fossil record because their soft bodies do not maintain good, according to the paper published in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. This is the first time a family of spiders is seen outside of amber, and for the first time the critical eye tissue of a spider is found in a fossil.

"It opens a whole new world about how these things lived and how they might catch their victims," ​​says Paul Selden, one of the paper authors and directors of the Paleontological Institute University of Kansas, Gizmodo said. [19659004] A Korean high schooler and amateur fossil hunter named Kye-Soo Nam was the first to find fossils in the 112-million-year Cretaceous-period rock called Jinju Formation in South Korea. The formation resulted in tons of other fossils, including plants, mollusks, fish, and dinosaurs, and an unspecified species of fossil spider.

The new research analyzed 10 spider specimens in the dark gray shale, viewed and measured under microscopes. Scientists point out that they represent seven different types of animals. That alone is surprising, and shows that perhaps there are many more biodegradable species spiders out there have been discovered.

The spider specimen
Photo: Paul Selden

Some of the fossils originated in the family of the Lagonomegopidae family, for the first time fossils were found outside the amber. But finding spider-preserved spiders, rather than amber, let researchers see the structures they had not seen before, like the reflective eye tissue. This discovery allows researchers to imply a little bit about the behavior of spiders.

Specimens exhibited "remarkable care" of canine pieces of reflective tissues in the eyes of spiders, both apparently seen in the fossil itself and highlighted by the The researchers are the chemical fossil makeup. They explain this reflective tissue as tectetum, with the eyes of some animals (but not humans) used to be seen in dark light. This is why pets and other mammals often have bright eyes like laser on photos taken by the flash.

You may wonder how researchers have determined that they are looking at tapetum and not something else. According to paper, since the spider tapetum is formed from the mice guanine crystals, it is more likely to preserve it than other soft tissues. "In addition, the shape of the structure-clear shape of the canoe," confirmed their suspicions, they wrote.

Every new fossil discovery adds more details to the life story on Earth-a story that can not be completed. But in addition to learning more about ancient spiders, it is quite impressive to see the glow of 112-million-year-old spidey eyes.


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