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Web Spinning 300mya?



Has a great picture...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3267605.stm

The ancient cousins of modern spiders could have been spinning webs 55
million years before the reign of the dinosaurs, a scientist says.

What appear to be silk-spinning structures have been found on the body of
an ancient arachnid fossil.

The 300-million-year-old creature, Aphantomartus pustulatus, could have
used silk threads to trap prey.

It is a trigonotarbid, part of a group of ancient arthropods that were
among the first animals to colonise land.

Trigonotarbids are not true spiders but are thought to be related. If they
really could spin webs - which some scientists doubt - they may be more
closely related to spiders than previously thought. 

The fossil evidence also suggests that silk-spinning could have evolved
independently in many arachnid lines and may one day be found in other
extinct arthropods.

"We all know that spiders and some insects, such as moths, produce silk,
but to my knowledge, silk-spinning has never been demonstrated in an
extinct fossil group," says Cary Easterday, a master's degree student in
geological sciences at Ohio State University. "This would be a first." 
...