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What fossils reveal about the spider family tree is far from horrifying | Susannah Lydon

Recent fossils in amber tell us how spiders evolved into their modern groups, but the fossil record for arachnids goes much deeper The discovery of a 100m-year-old spider ancestor with a whip-like tail, bearing a more than slight resemblance to everyone’s favourite parasitoid alien – the facehugger – gained a lot of media interest last week. Some arachnologists were upset by both the language of fear in the coverage (“creepy” and “horrifying” were popular descriptions) and by some folks expressing a desire to nuke it from orbit.
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