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Still Waters

'Hitchhiking' insects found trapped in amber

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Still Waters

When trying to better the odds for survival, a major dilemma that many animals face is dispersal—being able to pick up and leave to occupy new lands, find fresh resources and mates, and avoid intraspecies competition in times of overpopulation.

For birds, butterflies and other winged creatures, covering long distances may be as easy as the breeze they travel on. But for soil-dwellers of the crawling variety, the hurdle remains: How do they reach new, far-off habitats?

For one group of tiny arthropods called springtails (Collembola), a recent fossil discovery now suggests their answer to this question has been to piggyback on the dispersal abilities of others, literally.

https://phys.org/news/2019-11-million-year-old-fossil-springtails-hitchhiking-winged.html

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