Lower Cretaceous Spider Fossil from Liaoning

Male Spider

Phylum Arthropoda, Subphylum Chelicerata, Class Arachnida, Order Araneae

Geological Time: Lower Cretaceous (~125 m.y.a.)

Size: 7 mm across; Matrix: 48 mm by 30 mm and 42 mm by 30 mm

Fossil Site: Liaoning, Yixian Formation, Chao Yang, Liaoning Province of China

While the Class Insecta is well represented in Liaoning and Hebei Provinces of China, with over 500 species referable to over 100 families based upon over 10,000 specimens, spiders are not so often seen. This fantastic diversity and exquisite detail is unprecedented throughout the world. This example is a male, as indicated by the pedipalps present. This is a fine specimen with incredible detail from the dim past of 125 million years ago, an uncommon part/counterpart example. The reverse of one side shows a partial abdomen from a Mayfly (Ephemeroptera).

click to enlarge

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