This 99-Million-Year-Old Erection Is Making Penis History

This is the first discovery of its kind, scientists say.
The ancient arachnid, <em>Halitherses grimaldii, </em>and its erection preserved in amber.
The ancient arachnid, Halitherses grimaldii, and its erection preserved in amber.
Museum für Naturkunde

He was well-hung and well-preserved. A fossilized relative of modern-day daddy longlegs was found in Burma sporting an erection 99 million years old.

Researchers say the poor guy was discovered by a tree, with his penis in a full state of arousal, comprising half its body length, National Geographic reports.

Yes, daddy longlegs have penises, unlike their spider and scorpion cousins.

This one in particular, Halitherses grimaldii, was probably doing it with a female when he perhaps fell into oozing resin, packing his pecker for eternity, according to scientists behind a study describing the finding.

The erect penis of <em>H. grimaldii</em> preserved in amber.
The erect penis of H. grimaldii preserved in amber.
Museum für Naturkunde

“This is the first record of a male copulatory organ of this nature preserved in amber and is of special importance due to the age of the deposit,” researchers explain in the study, which was published in The Science of Nature on Jan. 28. “The penis has a slender, distally flattened truncus, a spatulate heart-shaped glans and a short distal stylus, twisted at the tip.”

The discovery proves that H. grimaldii mated "in the same way as animals today," noted a press release for the Berlin Museum for Natural History.

Dr. Jason Dunlop, study leader and a researcher at the Berlin Museum for Natural History, told National Geographic that penis shape can differentiate families of daddy longlegs, or harvestmen.

"In fact, [penises] are often even more important than the shape of the body and legs," he said.

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