Myanmar: Spider with Scorpion-Like Tail Found by Scientists

Spider-like arachnid with a tail sheds new light on origin of spiders

The team found the creature perfectly preserved in amber in Myanmar (formerly Burma), and they've dated the spider to be roughly 100 million years old. Amber is fossilized tree resin and is known for perfectly preserving many ancient fossils of insects and plants. At the origins of the identification of this new spider species are four primitive spider fossils, captured in amber 100 million years ago on the territory of actual Myanmar.

The new animal resembles a spider in having fangs, male pedipalps, four walking legs and silk-producing spinnerets at its rear.

The tail could have allowed for environmental detection, according to Paul Selden, of the Institute of Paleontology and the Department of Geology of the University of Kansas, co-author of one of the studies. Their body length is around 2.5 millimeters (0.1 inches) and their tail size is 3 millimeters (0.2 inches) which is longer than the body. These animals - which were much older, dating to between 380 and 290 million years ago - formed the basis for new order of arachnids known as Uraraneida - an evolutionary ancestor to modern spiders. "It was a pretty good tropical rainforest, and there are a great many other arachnids we know were there, particularly spiders, that are very similar to the ones you find today in the southeast Asian rainforest".

Dr. Ricardo Perez-De-La Fuente, of the Oxford Museum of Natural History, said that the fantastic fossils will play an important role in deciphering the puzzle of the evolution of spiders and allied groups.

The ancient arachnid bears a resemblance to modern spiders. However, the researchers are taking their time in actually classifying this new creature because they want to be absolutely sure that it either belongs in an existing category or is the first example of an entirely new branch.

But it's unique in that it has a "long flagellum, or tail", which is not something found on any living spider.

The finding has been described in a paper appearing in Nature Ecology and Evolution by an global team, including Paul Selden of the Paleontological Institute and Department of Geology at the University of Kansas.

From what they can see, it looks like a spider with a tail from another creature attached to it.

The study, published in the journal of Nature Ecology and Evolutionon Monday, explains the name was inspired by the chimera, a creature from Greek mythology with a snake for a tail.

"We don't know if it wove webs".

An artist's concept drawing shows Chimerarachne. Scientists have traditionally used silk spinnerets to distinguish true spiders from other species.

This spider confirms a prediction made a few years ago by the researchers when they described a similar tailed arachnid, which resembled a spider but lacked spinnerets.

A BRAND new species of arachnid that looks like a spider with a tail has been discovered in Myanmar. The scientists suspect that the spiders might have lived with the tailed spiders of arachnids side by side for about 200 million years side-by-side. Some argue that spinnerets were the key innovation that allowed spiders to become so successful; there are almost 50,000 known spider species alive today.

A dorsal view of an entire Chimerarachne yingi specimen.

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