Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Spider Blood Found In 20 Million Year Old Fossil

Date:
September 30, 2005
Source:
University of Manchester
Summary:
A scientist from the University of Manchester has discovered the first identified droplets of spider blood in a piece of amber up to 20 million years old.

A scientist from the University of Manchester has discovered the firstidentified droplets of spider blood in a piece of amber up to 20million years old.

Related Articles


Two droplets of blood, technically known as haemolymph, have beenpreserved in the amber which also contains the spider -- Filistatidae-- a family commonly found in South America and the Caribbean.

The droplets are the first identified examples of spider bloodever found in an amber fossil. It is possible the blood could be usedto extract DNA.

The fossil, which is 4cm long and 2cm wide, was discovered in the Dominican Republic and dates back to the Miocene period.

Palaeontologist Dr David Penney, of the School of Earth,Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, has now used the blood dropletsto trace how, when, and where the spider died all those years ago.

David, said: "It's amazing to think that a single piece ofamber with a single spider in it can open up window into what was goingon 20 million years ago.

"By analysing the position of the spider's body in relation tothe droplets of blood in the amber we are able to determine how itdied, which direction it was travelling in and even how fast it wasmoving."

In the latest issue of the journal Palaeontology (2005, vol.48, part 5) David describes how the spider died. He believes the spiderwas climbing up a tree when it was struck head-on by a sudden strongflow of resin. The spider then became engulfed in the resin and died.

He argues that the shape and position of the blood dropletsreveals which direction the spider was travelling in. It also revealswhich of the spider's legs broke first.

David discovered the fossil in 2003 during a visit to the Museodel Ambar Dominicano in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. His researchinitially focused on the spider which he identified as an entirely newspecies of spider. On his return to the UK, further research revealedthe droplets of blood and the information the fossil contained.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Manchester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Manchester. "Spider Blood Found In 20 Million Year Old Fossil." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050930082601.htm>.
University of Manchester. (2005, September 30). Spider Blood Found In 20 Million Year Old Fossil. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050930082601.htm
University of Manchester. "Spider Blood Found In 20 Million Year Old Fossil." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050930082601.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins