Ethiopian amber preserves 95-million-year-old insects

Published on April 7th, 2010 | by Sevaan Franks


Discovery News has posted a nice photo gallery showing ants, wasps, spiders and other organisms which were trapped in amber 95-million-years ago in Ethiopia.


It’s believed that angiosperms and many insects, such as ants, co-evolved. No pollinating insects were found in the amber, suggesting that flowering plants were still rare in Ethiopia at this time when cone-bearing trees and shrubs were more plentiful there.
Other significant finds in the amber include a male spider from the Linyphiidae family of sheet-web weavers.
It’s the second oldest member of this family ever discovered. Schmidt, a professor in the Courant Geobiology Research Center at the University of Gottingen, said the dripping resin probably trapped the spider at or near its web, since its modern relatives often construct their webs close to the ground in leaf litter.


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