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Ancient spider fossils, surprisingly preserved in rock, reveal reflective eyes

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-02/uok-asf021219.php
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Feb 12, 2019 12:00 AM 2+ mon ago

Ancient spider fossils, surprisingly preserved in rock, reveal reflective eyes

IMAGE: Two of the fossil specimens discovered in Korea had reflective eyes, a feature still apparent under light. view more

LAWRENCE -- Usually, soft-bodied species like spiders aren't fossilized in rock like animals with bones and teeth. More often, ancient spiders and insects are more likely to be discovered preserved in amber.

Yet a new paper in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, co-written by a University of Kansas researcher, describes fossil spiders found in an area of Korean shale called the Lower Cretaceous Jinju Formation.

What's most remarkable: Two of the fossils from the extinct spider family Lagonomegopidae feature reflective eyes that enabled their nighttime hunting.

"Because these spiders were preserved in strange slivery flecks on dark rock, what was immediately obvious was their rather large eyes brightly marked with crescentic features," said Paul Selden, Gulf-Hedberg Distinguished Professor of Geology ...

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