Ancient spider never gets to finish dinner

This is a spider, which was encased in tree sap while in the act of attacking a wasp. The sap turned to amber, leaving an incredible preserved scene, with even individual strands of silk from the spider's web remaining unbroken for 100 million years.

The paper this is taken from (sits behind a paywall, unfortunately)

Learn more about the preservation of bugs in amber at the website for NOVA's "Jewell of the Earth" documentary


  1. How much sap was spewing out of those trees so that it could capture such an event at an instant?

  2. Amazing that the spider’s behavior and body plan has worked so well that it has pretty much remained unchanged for 100 million years.

  3. It’s a shame that Maggie didn’t watch her own links or she wouldn’t have referred to it as sap. Sorry, it’s resin. 

  4. My two pieces of Baltic amber with insects in  them are two of my most prized possessions. You can look at them for a long time, staring into the past.

  5. All I can think is that wasp is trapped in terror for all eternity.

    Man, I hate spiders… and wasps…

  6. I saw this documentary once where a group of scientists were able to extract dinosaur DNA from insects trapped in ancient amber and used it to clone extinct reptiles. I wonder if it would work with arachnids.

Comments are closed.