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Massive fossilized spider found in China

The fossilized remains of a huge spider, whose legs spanned up to 15cm, has been found in China, making it the largest known fossilized spider.

Today’s Nephila species are found around the globe in tropical and sub-tropical regions.

Until this new fossil turned up in Inner Mongolia, the most ancient example from this grouping, or genus, was about 35 million years old.

So, this discovery pushes the existence of the Nephila back to the Jurassic Period, making them the longest ranging spider genus known.

No-one can say for sure how this particular arachnid met her end, but she may have succumbed to a natural catastrophe.

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Story: Jonathan Amos, BBC News | Photo: Selden Et Al

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