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New species of insect 105 million years old found fossilised in amber in Teruel
20 September 2019 @ 12:36

A SPECIES of insect estimated to be 105 million years old has been found fossilised in a chunk of amber dug up from an archaeological dig in the province of Teruel.

It was found by historians from Oxford University's Natural History Museum and from Spain's Geo-Mining Museum in the village of San Just in Aragón's southernmost province, according to the scientific periodical Sinc.

Teruel's amber sources are turning out to be a gold mine for experts studying the Cretacean era, and the latest finding is 'key in understanding how insect claws evolved', says palaeo-biologist Enrique Peñalver from the Geo-Mining Museum.

The insect is said to be of a 'predatory' species which were 'highly specialist hunters', Peñalver reveals, although their claws did not have the complex sensory structure similar insects do today.

It was originally thought the fossilised insect was a type of European Mantis – a large haemimetabolic species in the Mantids family – but closer study appears to show it is more likely to be partof the Chrysopidae strain, known in English as 'Green Lacewings', or the Myrmeleontidae, whose common name is the 'Antlion', and is probably of the mantispid or mantidfly type, whose wings are transparent and have the appearance of being made of lace or netting.

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