Arachnid erection preserved for 99 million years


who reported the discovery online January 28 in the journal The Science of Nature. The new harvestman specimen belongs to an ancient species called Halitherses grimaldii. Harvestman fossils are rare, only 38 have ever been found  according researchers. This is the first amber specimen visibly preserving the structure of the penis. There was no female trapped alongside the erect harvestman. Amber is fossilized tree resin (not sap), which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Amber is discussed by Theophrastus in the 4th century BC, and again by Pytheas and was referenced by Pliny the Elder in The Natural History. At that time there were different opinions. One of them considered that ambrt “is a liquid produced by the rays of the sun; and that these rays, at the moment of the sun’s setting, striking with the greatest force upon the surface of the soil, leave upon it an unctuous sweat, which is carried off by the tides of the Ocean.”


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