Prehistoric Spiders

Here are some examples of amber (fossilised tree sap) that have insects and spiders trapped in them. Millions of years ago, just as today, if a tree gets damaged, sticky sap will seep from the wound. Occasionally an insect or spider might get caught in this sap and become sealed inside. When the tree dies the hardened sap may become buried underground and after millions of years the sap will fossilise and become amber. Amber can easily be identified because if you rub it on a cloth it will become statically charged, much like if you rub a balloon on your jumper.

Anyway, here are some examples.


Above: This stone was given to me by my Grandfather as a Christmas present. It dates back to the Jurassic period so is over 144 million years old. The spider's abdomen is at the top and you can see the thorax and legs towards the bottom.

Above: this piece of amber contains a spider and a fly. You can see the spider at the top of the stone and the fly in the middle.

Below: Better views of the spider and the fly.

It is possible the spider was trying to catch the fly as it was stuck in the sap but then became stuck too.



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