In a bizarre Jurassic Park-like twist, a 99-million year old erection was saved in amber.
From a spider.
OK… NOT a spider – a distant relative of Daddy Long Legs, an Halitherses grimaldii, which I learned is NOT a spider, but rather an Opiliones. And, apparently although spiders don’t have penises Opiliones do! Who knew?!
Anyway, this poor, spider-like creature was likely having a good ol’ time with his lady spider-like friend, when… whoops! Coitus-interruptus!
The poor guy either fell into some resin, or a nice big blob of resin fell on top of him. But, what a way to go!
Plus, with his penis nearly half the size of his body length, well who wouldn’t want to preserve that for posterity! I wonder if there was some ancient form of Opiliones penis exercises! 😉
“This is the first recordof a male copulatory organ of this nature preserved in amber and is of special importance due to the age of the deposit,” said the researchers in their study published in The Science of Nature on January 28, 2016. “The penis has a slender, distally flattened truncus, a spatulate heart-shaped glans and a short distal stylus, twisted at the tip.”
Apparently, one of the ways to tell the different families of Opilones apart is by their penis shape!
Science is cool!