Earlier this year, a team of scientists discovered they had discovered a new species of Lower Cretaceous in the Yixian Formation in China that they believed to be a huge ancient spider.
The fossil was eventually sold to the Dalian Natural History Museum in China, and its members believed it was a specimen of Mongolarachnidae chaoyangensis, such as published the specialists at the time in the specialized scientific journal Geological Act of the Geological Society of China.
However, the prehistoric “spider” is just a scam: it is actually a “very poorly preserved” crayfish with “some painted legs”, as paleontologist Paul Selden of the University of Kansas said. , to the portal Science alert.
The published article “had very few details,” said the invertebrate expert, noting that when his colleagues in Beijing lent him the specimen for analysis, he immediately realized that something was wrong.
"Several parts were missing … there were too many segments in the six legs and huge eyes," said Selden, who conducted a fluorescence microscopy analysis of the fossil to confirm his initial suspicions.
In turn, Paleobiologist Chungkun Shih of Peking University also noted that this “spider” was found in an area where many Cretaceous crayfish (120-130 million years) were also discovered.
The expert also said that this is a very credible forgery. These findings “are usually unearthed by local farmers. And they know how much money they can make from these findings, ”he explained.
The people who described this finding as a prehistoric spider “are paleontologists,” only “they are not spider experts,” Paul Selden concluded.