You could say this insect’s death was bittersweet.
A 99 million-year-old fossil of a daddy longlegs entombed in amber was discovered in Myanmar in 2005, but something a little strange about the discovery caught the eye of researchers only recently. Unlike any other fossil of a daddy longlegs (also known as harvestman) before it, this one had a giant erection that measured about half the length of its body.
What that suggests is that the well-endowed creature died while it was extremely aroused. Not exactly the ideal way to go but, hey, at least he was having fun in the moments leading up to it.
The reason researchers are actually quite happy about this discovery, is because it can help them understand exactly how the species evolved over time.
“No living harvestman has a penis with exactly this shape,” researchers wrote. “In [this example] the penis is spatula-shaped at the tip and is heart-shaped in outline, with a small tube extending from the very end.”
The penis of a harvestman is normally hidden in the body when not in use, so it’s a rare chance to get a good look at the insect’s package, so to speak.
Another strange thing about this insect is its unusually large eyes. After analyzing these anomalies, researchers concluded that this horny harvestman must have belonged to a family of organisms that went extinct many years ago.
In any case, it looks like big things really can come in small packages.