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A review of fossil mygalomorphs

Jason A. Dunlop
Department of Geology, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, United Kingdom


The known fossil mygalomorphs are reviewed and discussed. The fossil evidence and its relevance to the evolutionary history and distribution of the mygalomorphs is examined. A review of the hypothesis of an 'age of mygalomorphs' is presented with two alternative causes of faunal change over geological time and the evolution of more 'advanced' forms supplanting more primitive ones. A sequence of faunal dominance from mesothelids to mygalomorphs to araneomorphs is suggested.

Mygalomorph, 1, 1-17 (1993)

Author's comments:

This was written some time ago and it's now been shown that only 1 Carboniferous spider is a true mesothelid. There probably wasn't and 'age of mesothelids', but may have been an 'age of primitive, segmented spiders'.
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So far people were interested in fossil mygalomorphs