According to a group of researchers, a spider was caught in amber on the verge of procreation.
The latest studies have uncovered a spider with its penis fully extended. The spider was very well preserved for a hundred million years. Researchers found it in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. In order to study it properly, they used photography and 3-D imaging. Their main focus was on the spider’s penis, which was enlarged to half the length of the creature’s body.
It was discovered that the specimen’s organ had a heart-shaped head and a twisted tip. This means that it delivered the sperm to females through a hole next to their mouth.
Apparently, these tiny animals have been around for over 400 million years. They are known to be very difficult to differentiate. Jason Dunlop, the leader of the study stated that:
“different families, and even species, can have a characteristic penis shape. In fact, they [penises] are often even more important than the shape of the body and legs.”
Due to its unusual penis type, scientist decided to slot him into a new family of arachnids. Now, it bears the name Halitherses grimaldii. However, the spider is believed to be a distant relative of the daddy long legs. The harvestman was the first to be found in such a remarkably, unique position.
Oddly, there was no sign of female spider nearby. This only could mean that the two of them were somehow separated during their love-making process. However, researchers are not yet convinced as to how the little fellow was parted from its lover. Their theory is that the spider might have fallen into the sticky substance. In this way, it was kept in its amorous state for ages until scientist found it.
On the other side, another group of researchers have another opinion about the spider’s erection. They think that maybe the arachnid’s struggling with the resin was the cause; its hemolymph and blood pressure was raised enough to harden its penis.
Scientists say harvestmen have been on earth for 400 million years. They are found on every continent but Antarctica. It is estimated that there are at least 6,500 species. However, this particular one is likely to have died out or evolved millions of years ago.
The fact that a spider was caught in amber on the verge of procreations only shows that mother nature can never be perfectly understood.
Photo Credits: Wikimedia