The oldest known spider webs, approximately 140 million years old in fact, have been discovered preserved in amber. Despite the timing, with Halloween arriving and the close association of spider webs to the spooky holiday, this is no trick.
The webs were found in Sussex, England along with other bits of insect and plant material trapped within the amber, and are the oldest known webs incorporated into the fossil record.
“These spiders are distinctive and leave little sticky droplets along the spider web threads to trap prey,” said Martin Brasier, a paleontologist at the University of Oxford. “We actually have the sticky droplets preserved within the amber.”
Further research showed signs of what the spiders likely fed upon (flying insects that were ancestors to modern bees and wasps), and what kind of web they weaved; ones that were very similar to those woven by present-day garden spiders.
Details of the discovery will be published in the Journal of the Geological Society. Via Live Science