Holy Crap, Here's a 100-Million-Year-Old Spider Eating a Wasp

Illustration for article titled Holy Crap, Here's a 100-Million-Year-Old Spider Eating a Wasp

100 million years ago, when dinosaurs were still around, this spider had captured a wasp in his web. The wasp was going to be the spider's dinner. The wasp was going to die watching the spider kill him. The wasp was going to—SPLAT. At that exact moment—one hundred million 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 parasitize spider eggs. It probably tasted like sweet revenge to the spider. Awesome. Sadly, both the spider and wasp species are currently extinct. [Discovery]


Matt Brown

So what you're saying is that Jesus put this there 9,000 years ago to fool scientists?