21 Totally Sweet Spider Superlatives

Oldest spider web

sexual cannibalism, spider sex, argiope bruehhichi, orb web spider, eating mate after sex, parental investment,

(Image credit: Public domain, taken by Wikimedia Commons user Laitche.)

The oldest spider web ever preserved comes from a 110-million-year-old chunk of amber from San Just, Spain. This incredible fossil holds 26 gossamer threads of spider silk and three unfortunate spider victims. Trapped in the strands are a mite, a small fly and a wasp. The spider creator of the web wasn't preserved, but paleontologists suspect it may have been something like today's orb web spiders, which weave webs in the classic circular shape.

Stephanie Pappas
Live Science Contributor

Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.