41 million-year-old insect sex romp preserved in amber

All rights reserved. More than a third of the 7,odd living species of frogs and toads are found in rain forests around the world. But the fossil record for amphibians from these kinds of wet, tropical environments has been almost nonexistent, leaving paleontologists with few clues to their early evolution. Now, lumps of amber dating back to the Cretaceous period have revealed a set of four tiny tropical frogs that lived alongside the dinosaurs, making them the oldest frog fossils of their kind. The specimens include the remains of an ancient frog complete enough to be described as a new species, called Electrorana limoae. Scientists discovered a dinosaur feather encased in pieces of Cretaceous-era amber, with a tick tangled up in the plumage. It’s the first direct evidence that ticks afflicted dinosaurs and primitive birds. In life, all of these frogs would have been less than an inch long, according to a paper describing the fossils today in Scientific Reports and led by National Geographic Explorer Lida Xing of the China University of Geosciences in Beijing. The million-year-old frogs come from the same amber deposits in northern Myanmar that have produced many exquisite fossils, including a dinosaur tail , a couple of baby birds , intact bird wings, and countless insects. Bits of bamboo, velvet worms, and aquatic spiders also found in this amber suggest that the Cretaceous environment was a rain forest, since similar species are commonly found in wet tropical forests today.

Mosquito dating back to age of dinosaurs found preserved in amber & it might have carried malaria

Colour plays an important part in the animal kingdom for camouflage, defensive warning and even to attract a mate. Huang Diying, co-author of the study. The fossils included cuckoo wasps with metallic bluish-green, yellowish-green, purplish-blue or green colours on the head, chest, abdomen and legs. Using electron microscopy, the team was able to show the colourful amber fossils had a well-preserved exoskeleton nanostructure which scattered light.

Now, lumps of amber dating back to the Cretaceous period have revealed a set of four tiny tropical frogs that lived alongside the dinosaurs.

The fossil of the long-legged flies with their proverbial pants around their ankles is now one of Australia’s oldest on record. Though some couples boldly declare themselves to be so good at fornication they ought to be immortalized for it, they’ve been beaten to the punch by two long-legged flies preserved in amber. A new study, published in the journal Nature on Thursday , suggests the flies are evidence of some of the oldest known Australian fossils to be preserved in amber.

They’re also potential candidates for the first frozen mating behavior to be listed in Australia’s fossil record. Led by a team from Monash University’s School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment in Melbourne, the study unearthed more than just some randy flies. Researchers also discovered the oldest known fossil ants from southern Gondwana, the first Australian fossils of wingless hexapods — known as “slender springtails” — a cluster of spiders, two liverwort, two moss species and biting midges, all encased in amber.

The team — made up of scientists from Australia, Spain, Italy and the UK — studied amber pieces found in Tasmania’s Macquarie Harbour Formation and Victoria’s Anglesea Coal Measures, dating back over 50 million and 40 million years respectively. Sure we can all giggle about these long-legged flies getting caught with their long legs in a compromising position, but it’s actually a huge step forward in learning more about Australia’s prehistoric beasties and extrapolating what it might mean now.

Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. We delete comments that violate our policy , which we encourage you to read. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion. Don’t show this again. Flies having sex preserved in fossil dating back millions of years The fossil of the long-legged flies with their proverbial pants around their ankles is now one of Australia’s oldest on record.

15 Clear Facts About Amber

Its mostly orange-hued transparence has evocatively preserved long-extinct animals for millions of years. It’s adorned our necklaces, bracelets, and pendants for millennia. Learn 15 dazzling facts about this clearly sublime substance. Because it forms a translucent orange-yellow substance that glows when polished and held up to light, it has long been used in jewelry and other decorations.

Amber from Australia holds some of the continent’s oldest known This rare example of “frozen behavior” in the fossil record preserves two The study authors also found pieces of Australia’s oldest amber, dating to

Amber is fossilized tree resin that has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times. It has also been used as a healing agent in folk medicine. There are five classes of amber, defined on the basis of their chemical constituents. Because it originates as a soft, sticky tree resin, amber sometimes contains animal and plant material as inclusions.

The word was adopted in Middle English in the 14th century as referring to what is now known as ambergris ambre gris or “grey amber” , a solid waxy substance derived from the sperm whale. In the Romance languages , the sense of the word had come to be extended to Baltic amber fossil resin from as early as the late 13th century. At first called white or yellow amber ambre jaune , this meaning was adopted in English by the early 15th century. As the use of ambergris waned, this became the main sense of the word.

The two substances “yellow amber” and “grey amber” conceivably became associated or confused because they both were found washed up on beaches. Ambergris is less dense than water and floats, whereas amber is too dense to float, though less dense than stone. Theophrastus discussed amber in the 4th century BC, as did Pytheas c.

Amber fossils provide oldest evidence of frogs in wet, tropical forests

About 41 million years ago, two long-legged flies had just begun an amorous tryst when they were caught fast in sticky sap, which eventually hardened around their joined bodies to form an amber tomb. The last moments of these mating flies, now locked in amber, offer a fascinating window into life in the Eocene epoch around 55 million to 34 million years ago , which is part of the Paleogene period. This remarkable “frozen behavior” is one of many amber specimens that scientists recently discovered in Australia; researchers examined thousands of amber pieces from a site in western Tasmania and from other locations in Australia and New Zealand, describing highlights in a new study.

Amber, fossil tree resin that has achieved a stable state through loss of volatile insects in amberAnts, a mayfly, and other insects preserved in amber dating to.

Donnel B. Stern, Ph. Carola H. Mann, Ph. Stuart Kantor, Ph. Gary Schlesinger, Ph.

Prehistoric ‘hell ants’ hunted their prey with unusual headgear

Recently, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology SVP has sent around a letter, dated 21st April, to more than palaeontological journals, signed by the President, Vice President and a former President of the society Rayfield et al. The signatories of this letter request significant changes to the common practices in palaeontology. With our present, multi-authored comment, we aim to argue why these suggestions will not lead to improvement of both practice and ethics of palaeontological research but, conversely, hamper its further development.

Fossils like these can improve our understanding of trait evolution and provide reliable calibration points for dating phylogenies.

But what is exactly a fossil and how is it formed? Have you ever wondered how science knows the age of a fossil? Read on to find out! If you think of a fossil, surely the first thing that comes to your mind is a dinosaur bone or a petrified shell that you found in the forest, but a fossil is much more. So, there are different types of fossils:. Petrified fossil of horseshoe crab and its footsteps. Photo: Mireia Querol Rovira Amber : fossilized resin of more than 20 million years old.

Subfossil : when the fossilization process is not completed the remains are known as subfossils. This is the case of our recent ancestors Chalcolithic. He lived during the Chalcolithic Copper Age and died years ago. The most famous case is the coelacanth , it was believed extinct for 65 million years until it was rediscovered in , but there are other examples such as nautilus. Comparison between the shell of a current nautilus left with an ammonite of millions of years old right.

Amber fossils unlock true color of 99-million-year-old insects

We have had a long relationship with amber, the beautiful petrified tree resin. Amber is mostly orange, reddish or gold in color while sometimes there might even be red or the rare green and blue amber. We use it mostly for jewelry but amber also became important to paleontologists in understanding the ancient world. Once a viscous liquid, it becomes solid upon fossilization, often trapping whatever creatures or other small organisms that originally get stuck in the substance.

because you see these fantastic fossils congealed in amber, but since amber is a thing that oscillates between solid and liquid, and since carbon-dating is more.

However, scientists claim to have extracted DNA from insects in million year old amber. Soon a series of incredible findings had been published, claiming authentic DNA could be extracted from specimens that were millions of years old, into the realms of what Lindahl b has labelled Antediluvian DNA. The majority of such claims were based on the retrieval of DNA from organisms preserved in amber. Insects such as stingless bees Cano et al. Still older sources of Lebanese amber-encased weevils, dating to within the Cretaceous epoch, reportedly also yielded authentic DNA Cano et al.

DNA retrieval was not limited to amber. Several sediment-preserved plant remains dating to the Miocene were successfully investigated Golenberg et al. Then, in and to international acclaim, Woodward et al. When in two further studies reported dinosaur DNA sequences extracted from a Cretaceous egg An et al. Even these extraordinary ages were topped by the claimed retrieval of million-year-old halobacterial sequences from Halite.

A critical review of ancient DNA literature through the development of the field highlights that few studies after about have succeeded in amplifying DNA from remains older than several hundred thousand years.

Researchers Examining Amber-Encased Fossils Discover Oldest Known Chameleon