By the use of modern technology, a group of researchers from the U.S, the U.K and Germany could finally expose and study the characteristics of a unique 305-million-years-old arachnid that looks like modern spiders but isn’t really one.
According to BBC News, the fossil of this archaic arachnid remained unnamed since the 80’s when it was discovered in France. But now, thanks to a computer tomography (CT), the researchers could disclose a piece of the fossil that was encrusted inside a Carboniferous-age Stone.
Back in the 80’s, and until now, it was impossible to reveal the full fossil without damaging it, but now with the help of CT, researchers got a detailed imagery of the appearance of this species.
Even when the origins of this arachnid are still unknown, the paper that researchers published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B may give some clues to better understand the evolution of arachnids into spiders
Characteristics of this old spider that isn’t a true spider
This extinct arachnid was named Idmonarachne brasieri, measured just 1.5cm, presented a strict deviation from modern spiders – principally for its lack of any silk-spinning capabilities –, and lived among the oldest ancestors of the spiders we know these days. So this is considered, of course, one of the most important archaeological discoveries in the past years.
Russell Garwood, one of the authors of the new paper, says, “This fossil is the most closely related thing we have to a spider that isn’t a spider.”