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Fossil Friday: Whip Spider from the Lower Cretaceous

Photo: Whip spider, by Günter Bechly.

I took this photo at a commercial private fossil collection in July 2008. The image features a whip spider (Amblypygi) from the Lower Cretaceous Crato Formation of northeast Brazil. These fossiliferous limestones are about 115 million years old. In spite of this age the animal is not primitive in any way and likely belongs to a modern family. Darwinists cannot really agree on the phylogenetic position of whip spiders, either as sister group to true spiders (Araneae) or to whip scorpions (Uropygi), because of contradictory morphological and molecular evidence.