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Last Updated: Thursday August 06 2009 13:19 GMT

Old spiders come to life in 3D

Old spiders brought to life

If you don't like spiders, look away now! Scientists have been making spiders that are millions of years old look alive again by using 3D images.

The scientists used around 3,000 images of spiders and a computer programme to create the models.

The 3D models haven't been created to surprise people - they're to help the scientists learn more about the bugs.

So far they've modelled two spiders that lived around 300 million years ago and now know lots more about them.

One of the scientists involved in the research said: "Our models almost bring these ancient creatures back to life and it's really exciting to be able to look at them in such detail.

"Our study helps build a picture of what was happening during this period early in the history of life on land."

3D model of ancient spider
3D model of ancient spider

The scientists think one of the spiders developed spikes over hundreds of years to stop being munched by other animals.

The other learned how to hide, only sneaking out when it needed to catch food of its own.

The scientists' work was published in a special science magazine called Biology Letters.


Spider in a web


How much do you know about the eight-legged creatures?