An astonishing amber resin fossil of a 100-million-year-old spider about to dine on a wasp, according to an October 8 Discovery report, which still contains 15 intact strands of spider silk, is the first fossilized evidence of this type of attack. It was excavated in a Burmese mine and dates back to the Early Cretaceous, between 97 million and 110 million years ago.
Can you imagine the Early Cretaceous period spider crawling along its web to eat the wasp when tree resin falls on the scene, freezing that moment in time to be discovered 100 million years later? It’s quite mind boggling.
Oregon State zoology professor George Poinar, Jr. said,
“This juvenile spider was going to make a meal out of a tiny parasitic wasp, but never quite got to it. This was a male wasp that suddenly found itself trapped in a spider web. 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.”
Now the pair has been trapped for 100 million years in this nightmare. Thankfully they were both dead, so they likely had no sense of time passing. Both the 100-million-year-old spider and wasp belonged to now extinct groups, which isn’t surprising given how much time has passed.
It is truly strange to see this snapshot from so long ago. Amazingly, there are likely similar scenarios playing out between spiders and wasps every single day even now, 100 million years later.
 Credits: George Poinar, Jr. and Ron Buckley