Fossil Daddy Longlegs Sports a 99-Million-Year Erection
The unfortunate harvestman, the first found fossilized in amber with a fully erect penis, also belongs to a new arachnid family.
On a tree in what's now Burma some 99 million years ago, a cousin of today's daddy longlegs had the best and worst day of his life.
After a months-long puberty, the male harvestman Halitherses grimaldii had finally blossomed into full manhood, sporting a penis that grew to nearly half of his body length when erect.
We know about this H. grimaldii's particular package because, as announced last Thursday in The Science of Nature, he died fully aroused, his tree-side tryst interrupted by oozing resin that entombed his body in what's now a lump of amber.
"It must have been in an amorous state to have it out like this," says Ron Clouse of the American Museum of Natural History,