Ancient insects discovered that give scientists a view of life 230 million years ago
On August 31, 2012 At 1:40 am
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Scientists have found three well preserved ancient insects frozen in amber and time.
Insects older than those found in the amber have been discovered, but they are preserved in rock and do not have the same detail as the ones discovered in amber, which are sort of like "tiny little mummies."
Professor David Grimaldi, Curator of the Museum of Natural History, told the Associated Press that the fossil record of arthropods has been extended by more than 100 million years because they are preserved in amber. "Uniquely detailed" comparisons can be made with them and current species.
"Besides the external anatomy, we can actually do high resolution CT scanning and look at the internal anatomy. We see muscles and tissues and all sorts of things preserved," he explained. "When you think about it, 230 million years ago, so many things have happened — oceans have opened up, mountain ranges have formed, the dinosaurs have come and gone, but here are these tiny little arthropods which have sailed through evolutionary time virtually unchanged."
As to where these ancient insects were discovered, The Huffington Post reports that researchers found two microscopic mites and one fly after painstakingly examing 70,000 droplets of amber found in northeastern Italy.