Ancient and fossilized spiders still have strange, shiny eyes

A strange bright-eyed spider that lived more than 100 million years ago was discovered by paleontologists working in South Korea.

Eleven Cretaceous spiders have been preserved in shale on the Korean peninsula, reports Live Science. Two of them contain strangely scintillating eye traces, called "tapetums," that reflect light from the back of the eye through the retina.

"In spiders, the ones you see with very large eyes are jumping spiders, but their eyes are normal eyes – while wolf spiders at night, we see their eyes reflected in the light, like cats" , co-author of the study Paul Selden, director of the Institute of Paleontology at the Institute of Biodiversity and Natural History Museum of the University of Kansas, said in a statement . "Thus, nocturnal hunting predators tend to use this type of different eye.This was the first time that a tapetum was found in a fossil."


According to Seldon, the rocks where the spiders were found also contained tiny fish and crustacean remains.

Spiders lived between 110 and 113 million years ago and were somehow protected from decay to stay as well preserved, researchers said.

The results of the researchers were published in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.

"These spiders did things differently.It's nice to have exceptionally well-preserved features of internal anatomy, such as eye structure." It's really not often that some something like this is kept in a fossil, "said Selden in his release.

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