Is the spider fossil discovered in Australia really that huge?

What you need to know:

There are photos and news circulating that the fossils discovered in Australia are monumental, but in reality they are small. It is huge compared to modern spiders of its kind.

Recently, news spread on various media and social networks that a giant spider fossil was discovered in Australia.Of course, we all imagine an arachnid the size of a truck, but in reality The length from foot to foot is approximately 50 mm. below.

And where did we know it was huge?This spider is actually really huge. However, this is when compared to spiders of the same family that currently live on Earth.

Is the spider fossil discovered in Australia really that huge?
Photo: Zoological Journal

This photo, which has gone viral on social media, shows the scale of the building, with even the 10mm scale visible.

Are Australian spider fossils huge?

On September 15, scientists from the Australian Museum Research Institute in New South Wales, Australia, published research on the impressive discovery: Fossil of a trapdoor spider from the Miocene geological period.

A paper published in the Zoological Journal explains that the aridification of the Australian continent led to the diversification of deformed spiders during the Miocene.

Mygalomorphs are a suborder of the order Araneae (Arachnidae), and if you think about it, they look like tarantulas.

Photo: Wikipedia

These types of spiders have existed on the Australian continent for a long time, and mygalomorphs currently represent at least 12 families.

Despite this history, only one fossilized deformed spider has ever been discovered in Australia. edwa mariae From the Triassic of Queensland.

Specifically, we discuss the brush-legged trapdoor spider (Araneae: Araneidae), a teratoid spider that has developed special features such as leg tufts that allow it to climb smooth surfaces.

The spider fossil was discovered at McGrath Flat in June 2020 and has been integrated into the Australian Museum’s palaeontology collection.

This spider called Megamonodontium maculuskie It belongs to the family of trapped spiders and lived in Australia 11 or 16 million years ago. The species is named after Simon McCluskey, who discovered the specimen.

Photo: Zoological Journal

This fossil is a nearly complete part of an adult female spider with a carapace length of approximately 10 mm. Total length 23.31mm. Including the legs, it can reach 50 mm, or 5 centimeters.

Now, in terms of size, Megamonodontium maculuskie It is the second largest spider fossil in the world. Mongolarachne Jurassica It is from the Jurassic period of China and measures 24.6 mm.

This is why it is said to be huge. Megamonodontium maculuskie The size is about 5 times monodontium existing. The fossilized spider is five times larger than the existing spider.

We’re not talking about spiders the size of trucks, trees, or even dogs. I’ll leave a link to the study here in case you want to take a look.

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