What Are Some Prehistoric Spiders?


Quick Answer

The Nephila jurassica, Cryptomartus hindi and Eophrynus prestvicii are a few prehistoric spiders. The Nephila lived 130 million years ago, and the Cryptomartus hindi and Eophrynus prestvicii lived anywhere from 359 to 299 million years ago.

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Full Answer

Nephila spiders lived in the tropical and subtropical regions of northeastern China. These spiders weaved silk, golden webs that stretched 5 feet. A male fossil was .65 inches long in body length with the legs stretching 2.29 inches. These spiders resembled the modern-day Nephila spiders, and the sexual organs were different from those of their modern male descendants. The females were larger than the males. They also had spiraled hairs that were feathery.

The Eophrynus prestvicii was among the earliest creatures to inhabit the first rain forests. This spider had long legs for running across leaves to chase prey, and it had spikes on the back to defend itself. The Eophrynus and Cryptomartus spiders were both the size of coins.

Cryptomartus spiders had front legs that were bent at an angle, which gave them the advantage of reaching out and grasping prey. This spider most likely took refuge under leaf fronds and logs, and evidence indicates that this arachnid was an ambush predator, waiting for insects to walk by before striking. This spider also possessed ball-shaped growths known as coxal endites, which could have been an evolutionary remnant from its ancestors. It is believed that these growths were used for crushing food.

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