Like all living things, that spider you found in your bathtub last night has an untold number of ancestors. Many of those date back millions of years, from a time well before humans, and even before dinosaurs roamed the Earth.
Spiders’ latest ancestor was unveiled Wednesday, a 305 million-year-old fossil that contains evidence of something like a spider, if not one exactly.
Idmonarachne brasieri is a heretofore unknown species, which scientists said helped them understood how arachnids evolved. The new fossil, for one thing, didn’t have the tools for spinning webs.
“Although distinctly spider-like in habitus,” scientists wrote in a study, “this remarkable fossil lacks a key diagnostic character of Araneae: spinnerets on the underside.”
The fossil of the spider-like creature was originally excavated near Montceau les-Mines, France, in the 1980s, but only recently analyzed with computer scanners, according to the BBC.
“This fossil is the most closely related thing we have to a spider that isn’t a spider,” a study co-author, Russell Garwood, tells the BBC.