Science

Here's A 100-Million-Year-Old Spider Eating A Wasp

When dinosaurs were still around 100 million years ago, this spider captured a wasp in its web. The wasp was going to be the spider’s dinner. At that exact moment — 100 freaking years ago — tree resin flowed over on top of them and froze the two bugs in time for us to see now.

It’s pretty unbelievable. George Poinar Jr, a zoology professor at Oregon State University, explains:

“This was a male wasp that suddenly found itself trapped in a spider web. This was the wasp’s worst nightmare, and it never ended. The wasp was watching the spider just as it was about to be attacked, when tree resin flowed over and captured both of them.”

The amber that holds the two bugs also contains 15 strands of spider silk and was excavated in a Burmese mine. Researchers say the amber dates back to the early cretaceous period, some 97 million to 110 million years ago. It’s the first fossil evidence of a spider attack.

What’s hilariously poetic about this picture is that the wasp in the amber (Cascoscelio incassus) was known to parasitise spider eggs. It probably tasted like sweet revenge to the spider. Awesome. Sadly, both the spider and wasp species are now extinct. [Discovery]


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