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Still Waters

99 Million-year-old-snail trapped in amber

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Still Waters

Of all the prehistoric creatures to find trapped in amber, we never would have expected a snail.

But that's exactly what palaeontologists have found - so perfectly preserved that its delicate shell is intact, and prehistoric soft snail tissues have been observed for the first time. A second, less well-preserved snail shell is also in the same chunk of amber.

Encased in 99 million-year-old amber from Myanmar, the snails hail from the Cretaceous, when some of the world's most beloved dinosaurs, such as T. rex, velociraptor and triceratops trod the Earth.

Their morphology suggests that they are ancestors of the Cyclophoridae family of terrestrial snails. This makes them not just the oldest snails ever found in amber - it would also put them among the oldest cyclophoroideans found in Asia.


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Burmese amber inclusions never fail to amaze me.

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