Encased in Earth's oldest bug trap
- September 1, 2012 - 4:22 PM
ENCASED IN EARTH'S OLDEST BUG TRAP
Scientists have found three ancient insects frozen in amber -- and time -- in what is Earth's oldest bug trap. The insects found in northeastern Italy are about 230 million years old, about 100 million years older than what had been the previously known oldest critters in amber. David Grimaldi, curator of the American Museum of Natural History and lead author of the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said the ancient mites are similar to modern ones. That's surprising because the world itself has changed a lot. Back then, there was only one giant continent, primitive dinosaurs and no flower plants. Experts said the discovery could help researchers further understand how life evolved on land.
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