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'Alien' insect is unlike any ever seen before


Posted on Monday, 30 January, 2017 | Comment icon 13 comments

The new insect is certainly unique. Image Credit: YouTube / Oregon State University
The find is so unusual that it has had to be assigned to a whole new branch of the insect family tree.
The alien-looking insect, which is believed to date back over 100 million years, was discovered perfectly preserved within a piece of amber that had been unearthed by miners in Myanmar.

"This insect has a number of features that just don't match those of any other insect species that I know," said Professor George Poinar from Oregon State University.

"With its long neck, big eyes and strange oblong head, I thought it resembled E.T. I even made a Halloween mask that resembled the head of this insect. But when I wore the mask when trick-or-treaters came by, it scared the little kids so much I took it off."

There are 31 existing orders under which all known insect species are catalogued, but now because this new insect - Aethiocarenus burmanicus - doesn't appear to fit under any of them, an entirely new order ( Aethiocarenodea ) has had to be established in order to categorize it.

A more detailed look at the discovery and analysis of the new species can be viewed below.


Source: Christian Science Monitor | Comments (13)

Tags: Insect, Amber

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by White Unicorn on 30 January, 2017, 15:24
Awesome find it's so complete and a perfect specimen to view. Looks a bit different than modern ants so it can be considered new species. However, I always laugh when everything found uses alien in headline for click bait.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Dyna on 30 January, 2017, 18:06
Body and pinchers closer to an earwig then to and ant but the big eyes are like the praying mantis. Combo bug!
Comment icon #6 Posted by Crystal Rose on 30 January, 2017, 19:13
Yep it looks like a combination of ant and an ear wig.
Comment icon #7 Posted by fred_mc on 30 January, 2017, 20:44
It looks like an ant to me too.
Comment icon #8 Posted by taniwha on 31 January, 2017, 10:38
But not quick enough to escape the gum...† But didnt see the gum...† Now, if only that gland could repel the gum...† Really?...Ever seen an ant?† †My guess... Spoiler Stick insect† †
Comment icon #9 Posted by DieChecker on 31 January, 2017, 19:43
That was my first thought also.† Cool find. Lots of stuff found in amber in SE Asia.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Athena1979 on 1 February, 2017, 23:33
He should sell the mask...
Comment icon #11 Posted by newbloodmoon on 3 February, 2017, 6:35
Looks like an ant with an earwig pinchy butt to me. The eyes remind me of the bulbous compond eyes I have seen on a prehistoric fish or water crustacion (?). I am sure someone here might know what I'm talking about and give it a name. It's merely eluding me at the moment.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Carnoferox on 3 February, 2017, 14:33
I think you might be thinking of trilobites.
Comment icon #13 Posted by oldrover on 4 February, 2017, 15:04
Or perhaps an anomalicaris, or maybe an opabinia.† Why does the article only show the head half of the animal? What's down the other end they think we need sheltering from?


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