215 million year old spider fossil found in Italy

Scientists in the northern Italian region of Friuli have discovered a species of spider dating back to 215 million years ago.

215 million year old spider fossil found in Italy
The 215 million year old spider fossil found in the Italian Alps [Credit: ANSA]
The specimen was found in a stretch of the Alps known for a wealth of prehistoric fossils and is from the Triassic Period that lasted over 50 million years, from 252 million to 201 million years ago.

The find brings the number of known Triassic spider species to four - the other three were discovered in France, Virginia USA and South Africa.

Scientists say the specimen is a distant cousin of the present-day tarantula.

Source: ANSA [January 24, 2013]

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