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Spider webs and seamounts

Episode 2

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 spiderweb.jpgSarah Day visits Professor Martin Brasier at the University of Oxford, who made the news last month when he published reports of the world’s oldest fossilized spider webs. Preserved in amber dating back to the early Cretaceous, the webs are 135 – 140 million years old, and capture a crucial period in spider evolution.

November’s Shell London Lecturer, Professor Tony Watts, explains the importance of his research into sea mounts – mountains under the sea. Potential causes of geological hazards, they are also focal points of biological diversity. Earth Scientists remain divided as to their cause, with some critical of the increasingly prevalent ‘hotspot’ theory.