Scientists Find 305-Million-Year-Old Spider That's Not a Spider

By Gary Cutlack on at

Scientists analysing old fossils have discovered something interesting -- to them -- in the form of a 305-million-year-old fossil of something that's a bit like one of today's spiders. But not, because of a lack of "spinnerets on the underside of the opisthosoma."

The scientists say we should be interested about this and posting about this on Twitter like it's news because it means there was a separate lineage of alternative spiders in existence at the same time as the descendants of the spiders we know and are scared of today, a branch of the insect that split off from today's models. But it was rubbish so it died out. Not only did they find something that's not a spider, it was rubbish at its only job. Good riddance, we say. Good riddance, stupid not-spider without even the spinnerets.

"This fossil is the most closely related thing we have to a spider that isn't a spider," said Russell Garwood from the University of Manchester, clearly a bit embarrassed about wasting everyone's time and resources on finding something that's not even a real spider. The full report into #notspidergate goes on for ages about the anatomy of various spider fossils found in the Late Carboniferous deposits of Montceau-les-Mines in France, if you're into that sort of thing. [BBC]

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