A fossil spider unearthed in Daohugou, China was recently described by experts as being the largest-known of its kind ever found.
Paul Seldon, a prominent professor of geology from the University of Kansas, helped identify the fossil spider as Mongolarachne jurassica. It was excavated in Daohugou, China inside Inner Mongolia, where several Jurassic-period arachnid species have been dug up in the past.
The report on the findings was recently released in the latest issue of Naturwissenschaften, where the fossil spider was described as being about the size of a human hand.
According to Futurity.org:
he giant fossil spider is considered to be the male version of a female spider found a short time ago in the same locality, called Nephila jurassica. But because some of its physical characteristics are different from the Nephilagenus, the latest discovery has spawned an entirely new scientific name.
“Because the male shows features that are not consistent with the placement of the species in Nephila or, indeed, the family Nephilidae, the species was given a new genus name and a new family erected to accommodate the new genus,” says Selden, who also serves as the Paleontological Institute’s director at the university’s Biodiversity Institute.
Last year, scientists also discovered fossilized remains of these giant fleas, ten times the size of a modern flea, in Inner Mongolia.
We know where we won’t be taking our time machine when it is inevitably created in the not-too-distant-future.
[Images via University of Kansas]