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20 Million Year Old Spider Found

ScuttleMonkey posted about 9 years ago | from the complete-with-drivers-license-and-birth-certificate dept.

Science 413

evil agent writes "BBC News is reporting that Paleontologist Dr. David Penny has found a spider, and two droplets of blood, perfectly perserved in amber. He was able to extract the blood and determine its age: 20 million years old. Since it is thought to be the first time that spider blood has been found perserved in amber, it is hoped that DNA could be extracted."

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blah! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13695915)

Frist prost! O_O

is it just me (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13695922)

Or does this sound like the intro narrative to a horror sci-fi flick...

Re:is it just me (1)

Cerdic (904049) | about 9 years ago | (#13695954)

Oh... You might want to rush out and write the movie script before someone beats you to the idea. But you might want to try writing a book first, though, and hope that some big producer buys the rights to make the movie.

Re:is it just me (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13695964)

BRING ON THE CLONES!!!! *evil laugh* muuhahhhahaah

Re:is it just me (2, Insightful)

A Brand of Fire (640320) | about 9 years ago | (#13696074)

Or does this sound like the intro narrative to a horror sci-fi flick...

A really cheesy Sci-Fi Channel Original sci-fi/horror flick at that. Give 'em about six months and I'm sure they'll already be a week into filming Frankenspider III - After the Armageddon. Has anyone seen the crap they've been funding these last few years? Absolutely atrocious -- riddled with poor acting, casting, writing, and CGI just for the sake of having it in there (it sometimes seems).

Re:is it just me (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13696162)

That is a genuine policy. Low budge films are being intentionally produced, 30 movies for 20 million USD planned for this year by memory, by the Sci-Fi channel to create new generation of b-grade sci-fi movies.

Re:is it just me (1)

aschran (895622) | about 9 years ago | (#13696101)

Sounds a lot more like the plot of Jurassic Park to me... extract spider DNA from preserved blood in amber, and... Arachnid Park?

Re:is it just me (5, Funny)

cmacb (547347) | about 9 years ago | (#13696143)

Or does this sound like the intro narrative to a horror sci-fi flick...

Yes but, fortunately for most of us, these things always go after Tokyo first. Fortunately they are always able to take care of the situation over there, although we may have to send some B52s to get swatted down while they work on that new ray-gun thing.

Re:is it just me (1)

kfg (145172) | about 9 years ago | (#13696188)

Actually, the first thing I thought when saw I the headline was, "Hey, who's been poking around behind my refridgerator when I wasn't looking?"

But, yeah, now that you mention it, my life pretty much has been a horror sci-fi sort of deal.

KFG

blah! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13695924)

God continues to fuck with us! First all those dinosaur bones and now this! Everyone knows the earth is only 3,000 years old, they added up all the people's ages in the bible and proved it!

Looks like /. has been tricked by the atheist science lobby, again :)

MOD DOWN, REDUDANT!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13696028)

This joke was and old and unfunny the previous 10000 times it was posted when a science-related story came up. This "joke" is as lame as the "in soviet russia", "korea" and the other crap running around.

Mods, stop using your points to make fun of Bible-worshipping Christians here. It's tired, move on.

Re:MOD DOWN, REDUDANT!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13696131)

I would hope that even the Bible-believing Christians on here have enough maturity to be able to laugh at themselves every now and again! I fall under this category myself, and I thought the joke was funny :P

Re:blah! (5, Insightful)

mfh (56) | about 9 years ago | (#13696042)

First all those dinosaur bones and now this!

While we both know you're kidding, I have to wonder about the authenticity of carbon dating proceedures in general. I'm sure lots of scientists believe in them wholeheartedly, but I'm of a more humble seed. If they say this is a 20mil yr old spider, then I would agree under the stipulation that it's 20mil yrs in relation to everything else we've carbon dated. ;-)

Re:blah! (2, Informative)

LordoftheWoods (831099) | about 9 years ago | (#13696051)

Well in that case, its definately 20 million years old. Because... uhm... we can carbon date stuff thats not dead yet. Thats how they figured out what the 'normal' amount of C-14 was.

Re:blah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13696065)

Uh, so you're questioning decades of work by people smarter than you? Oh yeah, REAL humble there, champ!

Re:blah! (1, Troll)

ergo98 (9391) | about 9 years ago | (#13696088)

Uh, so you're questioning decades of work by people smarter than you?

History is littered with the overturning of decades of work by smarter people...who were all wrong. Even when you accept the foundation of carbon dating, it is remarkable how repeated testing on the same object can yield many magnitudes of time differences.

Of course this really is all sort of funny - Many Christians believe in evolution, and the Vatican even released a statement saying that Darwin's observations were consistent with the bible. The whole "6000 year" thing is figment of a particular brand of Christianity in the US, owing to a particularly literal interpretation not shared elsewhere.

Re:blah! (2, Funny)

ZakuSage (874456) | about 9 years ago | (#13696111)

Carbon dating just checks how much of a sample of Carbon-14 has decayed. It's not as if they take some carbon from the organism and do some weird shit to it, like putting it next to a TV and then throwing it in boiling water to see what happens.

Re:blah! (1)

Henry V .009 (518000) | about 9 years ago | (#13696118)

I have to wonder about the authenticity of carbon dating proceedures in general.

Why? Something that you know about nuclear physics that I don't? Share.

Re:blah! (5, Informative)

LionKimbro (200000) | about 9 years ago | (#13696173)

Dr David Penney didn't use carbon dating. Carbon dating [wikipedia.org] only works to roughly 60,000 years ago. Beyond that, the radioactivity of the little C-14 that remains falls can't be told from background radiation.

I don't know what technique was used to date the spider; The article only says they used the blood in the spider to do it.

Re: blah! (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 9 years ago | (#13696182)

> I have to wonder about the authenticity of carbon dating proceedures in general. I'm sure lots of scientists believe in them wholeheartedly, but I'm of a more humble seed. If they say this is a 20mil yr old spider, then I would agree under the stipulation that it's 20mil yrs in relation to everything else we've carbon dated. ;-)

FYI, carbon dating is only good for the past 50,000 years.

Also, notice that TFA doesn't mention carbon dating.

Re:blah! (1)

BushCheney08 (917605) | about 9 years ago | (#13696053)

Mod parent down! If he'd ever actually read the Bible he'd know it was closer to six thousand years. After all, there were far too many people who lived to be 200, 300, and 400 years old. And some were even 100 when they were busy begatting! I guess God must've liked people better back then, cos he certainly let them live a lot longer...

Big words against God? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13696055)

Sir,
You speak big words against God. You will give account for that after you die. In the mean time, during the time that you are alive here on earth, do read some evidence that unbelievers don't want to see, and 'scientific' (where's the missing link?) magazines will not print - too painful! Like most truth is.
http://www.answersingenesis.org/ [answersingenesis.org]
Best regards,
    Peter

Re:Big words against God? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13696082)

pfft. Why do you think I posted anon? Not even god knows who I am!

I'm not an Anonymous Coward! I'm an Anonymous ... overconfident.. guy...

Re:blah! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13696060)

Yeah, must be only the pre-beta version of that intelligent design... You know how release dates tend to slip. A few years here and there to improve and stabilize. In the end, you end up missing the target by a few billion years.

Or maybe it's just the demo that God presents at fairs to attract VC. I wonder if he sells licenses or subscriptions...

Re:blah! (5, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | about 9 years ago | (#13696115)

Funny how this 20 million year old spider species exists in identical form today. It must be a perfectly adapted design; why else would it not have changed in all that time?

Re:blah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13696145)

Kinda like cockroaches, eh? And crocodiles. And extremophiles. Lotsa perfectly adapted designs... and yet we're only a few million (some argue a few tens of thousands, brain-wise). Stupid spiders, thinkin' they're so much better'n us. =p

Re:blah! (3, Informative)

LnxAddct (679316) | about 9 years ago | (#13696163)

A) 20 millions years isn't that old, its 100 times older than humans, big deal. Thats why the form hasn't changed that much, but it may also be because the design really is that well. Most spiders have few predators but quite a selection of prey.

B) Some animals did evolve to what is considered pretty optimal, some examples being sharks, crocidiles and squid. If you follow the genetic chains of living things you'll see that some tend to have fewer changes. Often times the case is that the animal has few or none predators.

Regards,
Steve

Re:blah! (4, Interesting)

Gulthek (12570) | about 9 years ago | (#13696121)

The Earth is actually 5,000 years old and was created by the great Flying Spaghetti Monster. But in His infinite wisdom, he created it old.

I.E. He created a world that was millions of years old 5,000 years ago.

Re:blah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13696141)

Yeah for Bill Hicks!!!

faulty dates (0, Troll)

Walzmyn (913748) | about 9 years ago | (#13696184)

I highly doubt that date. For one thing, does anybody believe that the blood really could have lasted that long no matter what it was preserved in? And not too long ago we had those millions of year old bones with blood in them.

From what I studied of the dating methods in College I put no trust in them.

This site [answersingenesis.org] has an in depth study of carbon dating. I know it's a biased site, but it does have good information.

I can see it now (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13695925)

Spider Park ! Coming soon to a cinema near you.

Clone it? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13695927)

Oh boy I hope they clone it. 'Cause that's all we need is more spiders... :/

Re:Clone it? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | about 9 years ago | (#13695993)

I know, they can clone the spiders and put them all on a remote island. [wikipedia.org] Cause it's not like Australia has too many spiders.

Re:Clone it? (1)

yobbo (324595) | about 9 years ago | (#13696030)

It's unknown whether Tasmania is a suitable habitat. We'll have to wait for the DNA analysis to determine whether the Spiders had two heads.

Welcome... (5, Funny)

jacen_sunstrider (797955) | about 9 years ago | (#13695928)

to Arachnid Park!

Re:Welcome... (0, Redundant)

eviljolly (411836) | about 9 years ago | (#13695975)

Arachnid Park or Jurassic Spider?

Re:Welcome... (1)

jacen_sunstrider (797955) | about 9 years ago | (#13695980)

20 million year ago != Jurassic Period. Park full of a spiders made from DNA extracted from amber = Arachnid Park.

Re:Welcome... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13696043)

20 million year ago != Jurassic Period. Park full of a spiders made from DNA extracted from amber = Arachnid Park.

Pardon me, but I beg to differ. Park full of a spiders made from DNA extracted from amber = Shelobsville = time to soil myself.

Re:Welcome... (1)

BushCheney08 (917605) | about 9 years ago | (#13696070)

Miocene Park has a nice ring to it. It's either that or Tertiary Park (if you want to keep with the period names rather than the epoch).

Re:Welcome... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13696039)

Arachnid Fark, perhaps? Straight from the headline there.

Excellent work.

Re:Welcome... (1)

G-funk (22712) | about 9 years ago | (#13696109)

...To recycled Fark!

Um.... (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 9 years ago | (#13696136)

Welcome... to Arachnid Park!

Are you sure you got that right? Our new arachnoid overlords thought they were welcomed to Human Park.

Breakthrough! (1)

Gothic_Walrus (692125) | about 9 years ago | (#13695929)

We all know what this will lead to...

Jurassic Marvel Superheroes!

Re:Breakthrough! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13696092)

...or bad jokes ;)

Well (1)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | about 9 years ago | (#13695932)

As an arachnophobe, i really don't wanna think about this. -giant spiders attacking everyone!-

Re:Well (1)

Cheapy (809643) | about 9 years ago | (#13696166)

PunkOfLinux (Tou Hum Mal Law), 200000 points, killed by a giant spider.

Time Travel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13695933)

"He was able to extract the blood and determine its age: 20 million years old. "

I'm *assuming* that he was able to take into account any time-related changes that might throw off his results?

Re:Time Travel (2, Informative)

allanc (25681) | about 9 years ago | (#13695969)

...

Wouldn't the time-related changes *be* his results?

Sweet Jurrasic Park (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13695936)

Now all we need is an island in the Caribbean

In other news... (5, Funny)

rhetoric (735114) | about 9 years ago | (#13695938)

Michael Crichton creams his pants in cybercafe after reading this report.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13695948)

Michael Crichton creams his pants in cybercafe after reading this report.

Why is Michael Crichton hanging out at a cybercafe?

Re:In other news... (2, Funny)

rhetoric (735114) | about 9 years ago | (#13695982)

Michael Crichton creams his pants in cybercafe after reading this report.

Why is Michael Crichton hanging out at a cybercafe?

to pick up fat chicks duh!

Re:In other news... (1)

mpathetiq (726625) | about 9 years ago | (#13695994)

Sweet, sweet free wifi, of course.

Worried soul here! (0)

bogaboga (793279) | about 9 years ago | (#13695945)

I am worried that such specimen could be concealing deadly bacteria/viruses that man does not know how to handle. Mind you, there is a rumor that AIDS was a rogue virus that escaped from some American lab. Does the scientist know what he's dealing with? Why not just leave the creature alone?

Re:Worried soul here! (1)

BlueCup (753410) | about 9 years ago | (#13695990)

I'm not going to even touch on the AIDS thing... but, do you really believe that a virus that affects spiders would be able to harm humans? Those two evolutionary paths branched off a long long time ago.

Re:Worried soul here! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13695996)

grow a cock you faggot fuck.

Don't Worry, Be Happy! (Not bloody likely) (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13696012)

"I am worried that such specimen could be concealing deadly bacteria/viruses that man does not know how to handle."

Any such bacteria/virus certainly wouldn't know how to handle us either. The ones that most affect us are those which have evolved to take advantage of our weaknesses. I'd say the risk is very low.

"Mind you, there is a rumor that AIDS was a rogue virus that escaped from some American lab."

There's also a rumor that man didn't land on the moon. My guess is that you believe that one too? With the distribution of aids cases and the fact that it's actually quite difficult to transmit, that's a pretty ridiculous rumor.

Re:Worried soul here! (5, Insightful)

hey hey hey (659173) | about 9 years ago | (#13696031)

I am worried that such specimen could be concealing deadly bacteria/viruses that man does not know how to handle.
I'm not. But to reassure you, he will be doing all his work in a sterile environment, to avoid contaminating the specimen. Happily, the precautions work both ways.

Mind you, there is a rumor that AIDS was a rogue virus that escaped from some American lab.
There are also rumors that the moon is made of green cheese, and that the rapture will be next Thursday. Do you plan on repeating them too?

Re:Worried soul here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13696035)

You watch WAY too much TV. Do you *really* worry about this? Aren't there more important things to worry about than this?

Re:Worried soul here! (1)

Nasarius (593729) | about 9 years ago | (#13696036)

You've watched way too many bad sci-fi movies. Seriously.

Re:Worried soul here! (3, Insightful)

ltbarcly (398259) | about 9 years ago | (#13696064)

Well, it's like this. You're an idiot. He's a scientist. Your post is the equivalent of:

"How does Ford know that it's new Hybrid cars won't have a nuclear meltdown?"
"I heard that cancer is cause by di-hydrogen monoxide."

Why send rockets into space? Leave the vacuum alone!

Re:Worried soul here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13696112)

I am worried that such specimen could be concealing deadly bacteria/viruses that man does not know how to handle.

If man doesn't know how to handle it, it won't know how to handle man. Bacteria and viruses aren't some magical beings that automatically thrive no matter what the environment.

Mind you, there is a rumor that AIDS was a rogue virus that escaped from some American lab.

Mind you, there is a rumour that AIDS was a punishment from God that kills all the gays. What should you learn from that? That "there's a rumour" statements are absolutely worthless.

Re:Worried soul here! (2)

Eradicator2k3 (670371) | about 9 years ago | (#13696114)

"Mind you, there is a rumor that AIDS was a rogue virus that escaped from some American lab. Does the scientist know what he's dealing with?"

My guess is that the scientist is dealing with just that, a RUMOR. And apparently he's got you for company in the rumor mongering business.

Since you're an expert in the science of rumorology, my best friend's cousin's wife's brother's son has informed me that this rogue virus' name is bogabogabus bullshitus

Make sure you spread that around when the ./ editors dupe this story in about 5 hours and 43 minutes.

Re:Worried soul here! (5, Informative)

vmaxxxed (734128) | about 9 years ago | (#13696128)



Hello Mr. BogaBoga

Your concerns are valid. There is the small chance that previously extinct bacteria might be trapped there. Though, I would not be that worried. First, this is not an alien, and what ever is there has been here before. Secondly, its 20,000,000 years old, though preserved in amber in form, it, and all bacteria with it, is certainly dead. Actually, I would be surprised if they can find a complete set of DNA. It's probably all in pieces.

Now, about the AIDS theory... AIDS is probably the most studied virus, and most scientists in the world, not only in the US, believe that this is a retrovirus that passed from monkeys to humans somewhere in Africa, about a hundred years ago. Actually, the origin of the two common HIV strains has been narrowed to specific species of African monkeys. The origin of HIV-2 has been established to be the sooty mangabey (Cercocebus atys), an Old World monkey of Guinea Bissau, Gabon, and Cameroon. The origin of HIV-1 is a chimpanzee subspecies: Pan troglodytes troglodytes. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIDS_origin [wikipedia.org] )

If you are going to present such an extreme theory, it must be supported with extreme evidence.

Thanks

Re:Worried soul here! (1)

Ristol (745640) | about 9 years ago | (#13696150)

.... and nobody's gonna make a comment questioning how an std was transmitted from monkeys to humans? Slashdot, what's happened to you? Oh well, I guess everyone's out watching Serenity...

Re:Worried soul here! (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | about 9 years ago | (#13696197)

hmm... perhaps some stupid ritual of eating raw chimp meat and monkey meat?

obligatory (0)

tezbobobo (879983) | about 9 years ago | (#13695947)

I bow down to our ne dinosaur arachnid overlords (not those pissy googlel ants).


Peer pressure made me do it. I'm so sorry.

Wow (0)

gellenburg (61212) | about 9 years ago | (#13695955)

Okay... that's just fucking cool.

Woot! (0, Redundant)

tuxedobob (582913) | about 9 years ago | (#13695956)

Arachnic Park!

I hope to one day be fossilized (5, Funny)

Brandon K (888791) | about 9 years ago | (#13695979)

So one day, thousands (millions?) of years from now some scientists will be looking at my pale, naked body inside a shell of delicious hardened maple syrup, in which I died doing what I loved.

Then they'd bring me to some scientific symposium, and present me up on stage.

"Here you can see an ancient human, most likely in the 'geek' class. You can tell by his white skin, lack of muscles, and raw skin on his penis from over-masturbation"

*Audience oooh's and aaah's*

Re:I hope to one day be fossilized (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13696009)

So one day, thousands (millions?) of years from now some scientists will be looking at my pale, naked body inside a shell of delicious hardened maple syrup, in which I died doing what I loved.

Having sex with maple trees?

Re:I hope to one day be fossilized (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13696026)

Maybe masterbating with the syrup, which may explain why his penis is so raw?

Re:I hope to one day be fossilized (1)

LarsG (31008) | about 9 years ago | (#13696094)

inside a shell of delicious hardened maple syrup, in which I died doing what I loved
...and raw skin on his penis from over-masturbation

Me thinks you should switch to something with a bit less friction, like say K-Y.

Cool! (0, Redundant)

Adult film producer (866485) | about 9 years ago | (#13695999)

I'm anxious for the day that strange human/animal chimeras suddenly appear in society.. Or maybe animals like gorillas genetically altered so their voice box/trachea/etc are able to produce a human like voice. Lets accelerate their inevitable evolution,. Or dogs/cats grown with human brains & eyes.. Maybe even pets with designer colours, exotic colours like those parrots in the congo. We could mix all this stuff up, create some something wicked, a unicorn ? Hell ya.. or some other mythological creature. A horse/rhino hybrid.

Re:Cool! (1)

dajobi (915753) | about 9 years ago | (#13696135)

GTFO furry!

This will make for a great horror movie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13696000)

Only instead of biting, enwombing, and slowing digesting their victims, these spiders will kill by slowing sucking the live of victims with really boring, interminably long stories of the really, really, really good old days. And lots of whining about how young spiders are lazy web builders and have it so much easier with the flat screen TVs and the antibiotics and such.

Lies! Intelligent design world only 7000 yrs old. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13696017)

This is a devil conspiracy to discredit intelligent design and the bible. My science teacher says you'll all burn in hell for your treachery.

Do the math... (4, Funny)

jav1231 (539129) | about 9 years ago | (#13696021)

Since science articles are only 50% correct, it's 10 million years old.
BTW,it looks remarkably like spiders that are merely 20 days old.
Queue NOVA voice over: "20 million years ago, the Earth was a much different place...with much difference life forms!"
Kid: "Sir! What about this spider!?"
NOVA voice: "Okay! Okay! The spiders were all the same! But there were no humans to screw things up! GOT IT!"
Kid: "Sorry...."

I'm sorry, but the bible says... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13696037)

The bible says the world (and universe, for that matter) is only 6000 years old. As with all parts of creation, my religion requires strict interpretation of the text. As my religion is real (that is to say, my religion doesn't believe in some parts of the bible, but not others), I know that god put this spider in this amber just to fool us. He also made it look like it was 20 million years old.

I'm sorry, but all you other people are being fooled.

Re:I'm sorry, but the bible says... (2, Funny)

plasmacutter (901737) | about 9 years ago | (#13696063)

that's right.. the odds of molecules turning into a fully formed human are the same as that of an explosiion in a junkyard yielding a fully assembled 747. HEHEHEHE

Re:I'm sorry, but the bible says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13696099)

Well, give the situation a few billion years to develop, and maybe it'll happen.

Even better, give the situation a few billion years to develop in a few hojillion star systems and see what you come up with. Even insanely bad odds could still provide results.

Re:I'm sorry, but the bible says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13696155)

Actually, no. Humans are very astoundingly simple things. We're just the same basic form repeated over and over again. You could remove probably 20% of our constituent parts at a rate proportional to their occurrence and we could survive. Try that with a 747.

The Lord doesn't lie (-1, Flamebait)

tepples (727027) | about 9 years ago | (#13696142)

I know that god put this spider in this amber just to fool us.

BS. The Lord God doesn't lie to believers. What really happened is that the Great Flood of 1656 (post creation) led to rapid preservation of things in an anaerobic environment.

Learn more about creation science's position on fossils [answersingenesis.org]

On the bright side... (3, Funny)

pmike_bauer (763028) | about 9 years ago | (#13696040)

If we bring back these creatures (a la Spielberg) and they get out of hand, we can just step on 'em.

-1 Redundant (0, Redundant)

Phroggy (441) | about 9 years ago | (#13696044)

Great! Let's open a theme park. :-D

Re:-1 Redundant (1)

Raul654 (453029) | about 9 years ago | (#13696080)

"Well...maybe it was for the best. Now I...I finally have time to do what I've always wanted: write the great American novel. Mine is about a futuristic amusement park where dinosaurs are brought to life through advanced cloning techniques. I call it "Billy and the Cloneasaurus." -- Principal Skinner, Episode 1F18 [snpp.com]

I'm surprised... (1)

zappepcs (820751) | about 9 years ago | (#13696049)

That this story isn't already on this site
http://www.world-science.net/ [world-science.net]

All the wild science you ever needed....

How to stop a spider (4, Funny)

thre5her (223254) | about 9 years ago | (#13696050)

edit your robots.txt

Interesting... (2, Informative)

Kranfer (620510) | about 9 years ago | (#13696057)

For some reason I am hearing the Jurassic Park sound track playing... wait, I am playing it.

I think that this is awesome. I saw a special on the Discovery Channel called "Raising the Mammoth" where they went out into Siberia looking for a frozen Mammouth in the snow and such to get DNA and clone one using a Elephant from India as a Surrogate...

My only concern is... if we do get into cloning extinct animals and insects, what effect will it have on the ecosystem? Also is it possible to do at the present time?

But map that DNA :)

this cracks me up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13696069)

"Dr Penney believes it was climbing up a tree 20 million years ago when it was hit on the head by fast flowing resin, became engulfed in the resin and died."

I think he's just taking this opportunity to make a story out of it. Come on, who can get that from a freakin' fossil?!

Nothing new? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13696071)

Palaeontologist Dr David Penney, of the University of Manchester, found the 4cm long by 2cm wide fossil during a visit to a museum in the Dominican Republic.

"Oh, look! It's an amazing discovery! I found these T. Rex bones! And look, it's an ancient spider preserved in amber! Wow - there's a wooly mammoth entrapped in tar! This is the richest archeological find ever! Oh, wait... I'm in a museum."

So now we're looking at, what... (1)

J. T. MacLeod (111094) | about 9 years ago | (#13696076)

Jurrassic Terrarium?

I'm curious as to what oh-so-reliable dating method they used.

Not this again (0, Offtopic)

Quick Sick Nick (822060) | about 9 years ago | (#13696095)

I thought Frodo killed that thing!

OK - /. summary is wrong (1, Informative)

AngryElmo (848385) | about 9 years ago | (#13696103)

Nothing is mentioned about using DNA (in fact i'm not even sure if it would be preserved for that amount of time). Also I don't know where the "two dropllets" of blood comes from - the scientist has been using "droplets" which could be any number larger than one... Picky aren't I? :) The find is seriously cool though..

crap! they beat me to it! (0, Troll)

plasmacutter (901737) | about 9 years ago | (#13696107)

well i'll find my own 20 million year old spider..

with 20 million year old blackjack, and 20 million year old hookers.

on second thought forget the 20 million year old blackjack, and the 20 million year old spider.. ...... wait.. that doesn't sound right.

20 what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13696116)

Very few details as to how he's proving it was 20million. Anybody got more info on that?

Two questions... (5, Interesting)

Maxim Kovalenko (764126) | about 9 years ago | (#13696149)

1. Why is there no reference to how they know that the spider is that old?... and 2. Does the writer actually know that spiders have hemolymph instead of blood as us humans would look at it? Sigh...lazy science reporting strikes again.

Article (0, Redundant)

dorkygeek (898295) | about 9 years ago | (#13696153)

Spider 'is 20 million years old'

A scientist has described a spider that was trapped and preserved in amber 20 million years ago.

Palaeontologist Dr David Penney, of the University of Manchester, found the 4cm long by 2cm wide fossil during a visit to a museum in the Dominican Republic.

Since the discovery two years ago, he has used droplets of blood in the amber to reveal the age of the specimen.

It is thought to be the first time spider blood has been found in amber and scientists hope to extract its DNA.

Dr Penney, of the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, said he had used the blood droplets to trace how, when and where the spider died.

It is a new species from the Filistatidae family commonly found in South America and the Caribbean.

Dr Penney believes it was climbing up a tree 20 million years ago when it was hit on the head by fast flowing resin, became engulfed in the resin and died.

He claims the shape and position of the blood droplets revealed which direction the spider was travelling in and which of its legs broke first.

"It's amazing to think that a single piece of amber with a single spider in it can open up a window into what was going on 20 million years ago," he said.

"By analysing the position of the spider's body in relation to the droplets of blood in the amber we are able to determine how it died, which direction it was travelling in and even how fast it was moving."

He first saw the fossil during a visit to the Museo del Ambar Dominicano, in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.

Dr Penney reports his findings in the latest issue of the journal Palaeontology.

I'm going to put hot amber down my pants (4, Funny)

saskboy (600063) | about 9 years ago | (#13696179)

Maybe that old Slashdot troll was on to something when he started putting hot grits down his pants. Maybe he just wasn't advanced enough to realize that if he'd done it with tree sap, then he'd be naked and petrified with blood and DNA intact for at least 20 Million years, just like this spider!

I've been considering different ways I could preserve my body, and I think encasing myself in amber has shot to the top of the list, past deep freezing, and freeze drying.
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