Fossilized Daddy Longlegs Found Baring Its Manhood

By Nathaniel Scharping | February 2, 2016 1:27 pm
Sci_Nat_Burmese_harvestman

A photograph of the trapped harvestman (above) and a close-up of the penis (below). Credit: Jason Dunlop, Paul Selden, Gonzalo Giribet

An arachnid encased in a shard of amber found in Burma died in a rather compromising position.

A harvestman of the species Halitherses grimaldii was discovered sporting a massive erection, a position it had been stuck in for the past 99 million years. What’s more, the creature was so uniquely endowed that scientists declared the find a brand new family of arachnids — a move based mostly on the shape of its penis. They published their findings last week in the journal The Science of Nature.

A Penis Like No Other

The researchers used photography and 3-D imaging to study the preserved harvestman, focusing special attention on the penis, which extended to almost half the length of the unfortunate male’s body. The erect appendage possesses a distinctively heart-shaped head and a twisted tip, meant for delivering sperm to females via a hole near their mouth.

While other arachnids such as spiders and scorpions reproduce using a modified leg to transfer sperm to the female, the harvestman, also known as a daddy longlegs, uses a bona-fide penis to carry the act out. In addition to being a remarkably well-preserved specimen, this harvestman is the first to be discovered in such a, well, unique position.

Harvestmen_Close_Macro

A modern-day harvestman, or daddy longlegs. Credit: Mehran Moghtadai/Arad/Wikipedia

Differentiating between species using penis morphology is not a new tactic for arachnid researchers. Different species of harvestmen often look very similar to each other, with the exception of their penises, making the sexual organs indispensable to researchers. The penis is usually carried within the body, and it’s typically invisible in preserved specimens.

Lost Love

Surprisingly, there was no female harvestman found nearby, indicating that the two were likely separated while in the throes of passion. While it’s not clear what cruel circumstances ripped this amorous fellow from his lover, he must have fallen into the resin soon afterward, locking his passion in place for the ages.

Alternatively, researchers have suggested that the harvestman may have gotten his erection while locked in a struggle with the sticky resin, raising his hemolymph, or blood, pressure enough that his penis hardened.

Harvestmen have crawled around on this planet for at least 400 million years, and are found today on every continent except Antarctica. Although there are over 6,500 species in existence today, this particular species likely died out or evolved millions of years ago.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, Uncategorized
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  • Scott

    He should probably consult a doctor. That’s well past the 4 hour timeline.

    • rogerhenderson2009

      lol…..

    • Holly A. H. S.

      Ha! 😀

  • Wyldcrafter

    An Eastern Harvestman is not a ‘daddy longlegs’. An Eastern Harvestman was classified as an arachnid but its two front appendages are used for breathing and finding food, not actual legs and had a one segment body (it has six actual legs) — it is of the order Opiliones.

    The Daddy Longlegs is also an arachnid and an actual spider with a two-segmented body. They are commonly known as ‘cellar spiders.’
    Taxonomy of the Harvestman — Kingdom: Animalia

    Subkingdom: Bilateria

    Infrakingdom: Protostomia

    Superphylum: Ecdysozoa

    Phylum: Arthropoda

    Subphylum: Chelicerata

    Class: Arachnida

    Order: Opiliones

    The taxonomy of cellar spiders
    Kingdom: Animalia

    Subkingdom: Bilateria

    Infrakingdom: Protostomia

    Superphylum: Ecdysozoa

    Phylum: Arthropoda

    Subphylum: Chelicerata

    Class: Arachnida

    Order: Araneae

    Family: Pholcidae

    But because of confusion even amongst entomologist and the public, both species are called ‘Daddy Longlegs’ but what is in the amber is an Eastern Harvestman, not a cellar spider, Daddy longlegs.

    • Shirl Hadley

      Different species of harvestmen often look very similar to each other, with the exception of their penises, making the sexual organs indispensable to researchers. The penis is usually carried within the body, and it’s typically invisible in preserved specimens.

    • Barbara Bartlett

      is it also true that they can be venomous but because the teeth are turned inward so they can’t really bite.???

      • Wyldcrafter

        Opiliones have no venom glands in their chelicerae and therefore pose no danger to humans.

        • draining3threes

          I believe he was referring to Daddy Longlegs, not the Eastern Harvestman.

      • JadeEclypse

        There was an issue primarily in the 80s in which people would put them in bags or jars and shake them up to get them to release their toxin somehow and then huffing it (inhaling) which can cause hallucinations and blackouts and a drug induced high. But only certain sub-species have venom.

        • Barbara Bartlett

          Ty!

        • Wings_42

          Unethical and sick. They are living sentient beings, and beautiful to my eye. I can’t imagine killing animals to get high.

          • JadeEclypse

            While I do not like spiders, in fact I’m terrified of them, I agree. But as a nurse, I’ve found that if people want that high enough, if they need it enough, ethics aren’t always a factor anymore.

      • EFeesh

        Actually that is a myth. Daddy long legs, in the order Pholcidae, do have venom, however it is harmless to humans. They are capable of biting humans however, they have hooked shaped fangs, known as uncate fangs, just like the brown recluse, and as everyone knows brown recluse are capable of biting humans. Pholcidae do have much weaker fangs then brown recluse, but they are still capable of penetrating human skin, but their venom is harmless. This misconception was actually addressed on an episode of “Myth Busters”, they were able to determine that daddy long legs were able to penetrate the surface of a human’s skin, but they are not able to penetrate all the way through the skin, as the fangs of Pholcidae were measured to be .25 mm in length, but human skin varies in thickness from about .5 mm to around 4 mm.

        • Barbara Bartlett

          Thank you!

  • Marin Baltaliiski

    Dont wont to sound like a dic but god demite

  • Joshua Johnson

    99 million years wow! Some Christians are shitting themselves right now lol

    • Ellen

      Hahahaha. Fantastic. As for the bug…………..I almost thought this was too good to be true

  • Bob Strohl

    How come they didn’t mention the smile on his face

  • wavicles

    This threads 10 hours old and no one’s joked about tingly spidey senses.

  • leon redgrave

    sen ted cruz will probably die with his penis stuck in another mans anus

    • ernldo

      Bath house Barry is a better bet…

      • leon redgrave

        ted cruz is raping his own kids

  • leon redgrave

    jesus christ died while having anal with a donkey not by being on the cross..huge cover up over jesus’s death

    • ernldo

      Of course that was simply stupid…Typical atheist.

    • John Glasco

      Huge attempted cover-up to hide your stupidity failed.

  • Prentice

    He was jacking off. In my researches, I’ve seen this many times.

  • bwana

    I’m sure he died out from all the extra energy required to carry that load…

  • Sven_Golly

    I would proffer that when he wandered onto the tree sap his appendage became entrapped before his body and his “erection” would be artificially attained whilst struggling to free himself and save his life. (This has occurred to me personally on countless occasions when I wander the taiga in the nude when the sap is rising.)

    • Heisenderdz

      😂😂😂

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