An ancient fossil could be the first of its kind showing a predator-prey relationship in amber.
Oregon State University researchers announced the fossilized amber, found in Hukawng Valley of Myanmar, showing a spider capturing a wasp Monday.
“This juvenile spider was going to make a meal out of a tiny parasitic wasp, but never quite got to it,” George Poinar, Jr., a professor emeritus of zoology at Oregon State University, said in a university statement. “This was the wasp’s worst nightmare, and it never ended. The wasp was watching the spider just as it was about to be attacked, when tree resin flowed over and captured both of them.”
The researchers state that a fossil showing an attack such as this has never been reported. Although a fossilized web has been found and dates back to 130 million years. In this fossil, 15 strands of spider silk remain intact.
According to the university press release, to genera of spider and wasp are both extinct. These findings are published in the journal Historical Biology.