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Palaeontology

Prehistoric insect found trapped in amber

By T.K. Randall
May 3, 2015 · Comment icon 15 comments

Insects can be found preserved in amber on rare occasions. Image Credit: PD - Sebakoamber
A 100 million-year-old predatory cockroach has been found perfectly preserved in a piece of amber.
The movie 'Jurassic Park' explored the idea of obtaining the DNA of a dinosaur by extracting it from a blood-sucking insect trapped in amber, a feat that then enabled scientists to clone the creatures for exhibition in a safari park that didn't go quite according to plan.

While there's no dinosaur DNA to be had in this latest specimen it has nonetheless provided scientists with the unique opportunity to examine in intricate detail the remains of a prehistoric insect that was quite unlike any that are alive today.
Resembling something similar to a praying mantis, the 100 million-year-old cockroach appeared to have been a nocturnal predator that hunted down and preyed upon other insects.

"The unique adaptations such as strongly elongated extremities and freely movable head on a long neck suggest that these animals were pursuit predators," wrote researchers Peter Vršanský and Günter Bechly in a new paper describing the discovery which can be found - here.



Source: New York Post | Comments (15)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by Atuke 9 years ago
Beautiful specimen. I actually just purchased a fine piece of Amber with a small blood sucking insect trapped in it off of eBay. Worth the $40. It's in the man-cave.
Comment icon #7 Posted by jarjarbinks 9 years ago
#6 Do you think it's a real one or a fake?
Comment icon #8 Posted by moon tide 9 years ago
100 million years old. Well I never. Certainly gives a physical reality to those ancient creatures - more so than a fossilized bone can - to me. Amazing.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Lenore Graves 9 years ago
so cool! I love amber I hope to be preserved some day in amber...as I die Ill just rest under a really sappy tree, that'll work right?
Comment icon #10 Posted by MJNYC 9 years ago
Oh wow they really did look like a mantis (different color but same body). Very cool Still Waters - love this! Did you know there's a myth here that says it's illegal to kill a praying mantis? I grew up believing that but it's actually false. I love praying mantis' I think they are very cool looking Wow! LOL. I remember being told that as a child and I totally believed it until today when I saw your post and looked it up. Well, I still wouldn't kill them, they are one of God's creatures and a helpful insect too!
Comment icon #11 Posted by She-ra 9 years ago
Wow! LOL. I remember being told that as a child and I totally believed it until today when I saw your post and looked it up. Well, I still wouldn't kill them, they are one of God's creatures and a helpful insect too! I would never ever kill them either. They are great for the garden AND they are just downright cool looking
Comment icon #12 Posted by Mantis914 9 years ago
Wow! LOL. I remember being told that as a child and I totally believed it until today when I saw your post and looked it up. Well, I still wouldn't kill them, they are one of God's creatures and a helpful insect too! Yes we are, glad to get some recognition... I would never ever kill them either. They are great for the garden AND they are just downright cool looking That's a relief to hear, we just like hanging out by the tomatoes, chowing on some aphids or whatever happens our way...
Comment icon #13 Posted by BeastieRunner 9 years ago
I don't like the idea of a predatory cockroach, no matter it's size.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Machala2012 9 years ago
Its predatory? I have a little Dog......she would be snack size for a few hungry meat eating roaches. Sad Day.
Comment icon #15 Posted by timeskipper 9 years ago
Roaches are indestructible. As a child, I saw one 6ft long... They get even bigger than that I've heard. I just wonder what else we will find in time that existed long before mankind.


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