All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
18 07, 2023

A Tarbosaurus Dinosaur Drawing by Caldey

By |2023-07-19T07:40:36+01:00July 18th, 2023|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

Our thanks to young artist Caldey who sent into Everything Dinosaur a Tarbosaurus dinosaur drawing. The drawing was inspired by a recent television programme. Tarbosaurus features in both series 1 and series 2 of “Prehistoric Planet” which was shown on the Apple TV+ network.

Tarbosaurus lived in Asia during the Late Cretaceous. It was closely related to Tyrannosaurus rex.

Tarbosaurus dinosaur drawing.
A stunning Tarbosaurus (T. bataar) illustrated. The dinosaur drawing was inspired by the tyrannosaurs seen on the recent “Prehistoric Planet” television series. Picture credit: Caldey.

Tarbosaurus Dinosaur Drawing

Caldey has taken great care over her Tarbosaurus dinosaur drawing. It is a striking composition and a very accurate reflection of the Tarbosaurus seen in the television series.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur praised the artist and commented:

“It is a superb tyrannosaur illustration. The details around the head and those lipped jaws of this super-sized theropod are excellent. We congratulate Caldey for her artwork.”

Our thanks to young artist Caldey for sending into Everything Dinosaur her Tarbosaurus illustration.

18 07, 2023

Arthrolycosa wolterbeeki – Germany’s Oldest Spider a New Fossil Discovery

By |2024-01-02T20:36:53+00:00July 18th, 2023|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

The oldest spider ever found in Germany has been scientifically described. Named Arthrolycosa wolterbeeki this ancient creepy-crawly roamed northern Germany more than 300 million years ago (Carboniferous).

The fossils of this arachnid come from the Piesberg quarry near Osnabrück in Lower Saxony. They represent the first Palaeozoic spider found in Germany.

Arthrolycosa wolterbeeki fossils and line drawings
Arthrolycosa wolterbeeki fossils (top) and interpretative line drawing (bottom). Picture credit: Jason Dunlop, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.

Arthrolycosa wolterbeeki

In a recent article published in the international journal Paläontologische Zeitschrift, Dr Jason Dunlop from the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin described this ancient arthropod. The spider is between 310 and 315 million years old and was named after its discoverer, Tim Wolterbeek, who generously donated the fossil to the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.

The spider had a body length of about one centimetre and a leg span of about four centimetres. It was about the same size as a common Wolf spider (Lycosidae). It belonged to a primitive group of arachnids known as the mesotheles, which, in contrast to most spiders today, still have a segmented abdomen. Its living relatives are found only in eastern Asia.

The fossil reveals stunning details. The silk-producing spinnerets and even hair and claws on the legs have been identified.

Arthrolycosa wolterbeeki life reconstruction.
An Arthrolycosa wolterbeeki life reconstruction. Picture credit: Jason Dunlop, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.

One of Nature’s Big Success Stories

The Arachnida are one of nature’s great success stories. More than 50,000 species of spider have been described worldwide. About a thousand species live in Germany. Spiders are also preserved as fossils. More than 1,400 extinct species are known. It is thought the first spider-like, terrestrial arthropods evolved in the Devonian. These creatures rapidly diversified and thrived in the swamps of the Carboniferous. They became important predators of insects and other small invertebrates. Some giant forms evolved, although the classification of some specimens remains controversial. For example, Megarachne servinei from the Late Carboniferous of Argentina had a leg span in excess of fifty centimetres. Once thought to be a giant spider, it has been reclassified as a bizarre eurypterid.

To read an article from 2018 about the discovery of a Cretaceous-aged spider with a whip-like tail: A Tale of a Spider with a Tail.

The Piesberg quarry is an important fossil site and was declared a National Geotope in 2019. The location has yielded numerous fossils of plants, insects and other animals, including arachnids such as scorpions. This new fossil shows that Late Carboniferous spiders also lived in the Piesberg coal forests. Spiders of this age are still extremely rare. Only twelve Carboniferous species worldwide can be positively identified as spiders, with previous records coming from France, the Czech Republic, Poland and the United States (Mazon Creek).

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a media release from the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin in the compilation of this article.

The scientific paper: “The first Palaeozoic spider (Arachnida: Araneae) from Germany” by Jason A. Dunlop published in Paläontologische Zeitschrift.

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