Skip to comments.Spider 'is 20 million years old'
Posted on 09/30/2005 9:17:27 AM PDT by bigmac0707
A scientist has described a spider that was trapped and preserved in amber 20 million years ago.
Palaeontologist Dr David Penney, of the University of Manchester, found the 4cm long by 2cm wide fossil during a visit to a museum in the Dominican Republic.
Since the discovery two years ago, he has used droplets of blood in the amber to reveal the age of the specimen.
It is thought to be the first time spider blood has been found in amber and scientists hope to extract its DNA.
Dr Penney, of the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, said he had used the blood droplets to trace how, when and where the spider died.
It is a new species from the Filistatidae family commonly found in South America and the Caribbean.
Dr Penney believes it was climbing up a tree 20 million years ago when it was hit on the head by fast flowing resin, became engulfed in the resin and died.
He claims the shape and position of the blood droplets revealed which direction the spider was travelling in and which of its legs broke first.
"It's amazing to think that a single piece of amber with a single spider in it can open up a window into what was going on 20 million years ago," he said.
"By analysing the position of the spider's body in relation to the droplets of blood in the amber we are able to determine how it died, which direction it was travelling in and even how fast it was moving."
He first saw the fossil during a visit to the Museo del Ambar Dominicano, in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
Dr Penney reports his findings in the latest issue of the journal Palaeontology.
But that's not possible, because Bishop Ussher tells us the world was formed as it is in the year 4004 BCE.
Think of all those aching knees!
How do you suppose he came to the conclusion it was 20 million years old?
"4cm long by 2cm wide fossil"
Let's hope this was not a baby.
Otherwise, the movie ends badly (for the humans).
All dating methods are highly suspect.
Yeah, going to bars just doesn't work.
Most likely carbon dating coupled with at what level in the strata the amber was discovered.
No they are not. Well, not by those grounded in the observable world.
I think a dinner and a movie are respectable enough.
You're right...it should all be done by arranged marriage alone.
Hey, that's right! The world must have been created in 4004 BCE with the spider already stuck in the amber.
Was it Helen Thomas' childhood pet?
That's what ALL my dates told me, too.........
I think it was Helen Thomas before she shedded her skin.
I was under the impression carbon dating isn't reliable past 50,000 years or so.
It doesn't say which dating methods were used here, only that the date was determined by extracting blood-- and I'm not sure how one would date something based on organic materials. Unless the spider was radioactive of course. (In that case, the movie ends up really bad for the humans)
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