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The true colours of fossilized beetles revealed

A new study has revealed that the metallic rainbow sheen that is the mark of a fossilized beetle actually becomes redder over time. To reveal the insects' true colors, Yale University postdoctoral researcher Maria McNamara and her colleagues took tiny samples from beetle fossils dating back 15 million to 47 million

23-million-year old insects found in Peru

The remains of ancient insects and seeds have been found, trapped in amber, in Peru. "These new discoveries are very important, because the insects and sunflower seeds confirm the type of climate that existed during the Miocene period," Honninger said in a telephone interview from the northern city of Chiclayo. The paleontologists

Oldest full-body impression of a flying insect

The oldest discovered full-body impression of a flying insect has been found in Massachusetts. The 300-million-year-old fossil (seen in an undated picture), which dates to the Carboniferous period, was likely made by an ancestor of the mayfly, scientists say. (See picture: "Oldest-Ever Bee Found in Amber.") In 2008, fossil hunters found the

Feathered dinosaurs were probably plagued with lice

A new study is proposing that feathered dinosaurs were probably covered with lice and may have spent a good deal of time nibbling them off during pruning. “Our analysis suggests that both bird and mammal lice began to diversify before the mass extinction of dinosaurs," principal investigator Kevin Johnson was quoted

Insects trapped in amber raise questions about India’s origins

A veritable trove of insects found preserved in amber for millions of years is raising questions about how long India was isolated before it merged with the Asian continent. The insects – bees, termites, spiders, and flies – had been entombed in the vast Cambay deposit in western India for

Biologists grow prehistoric dragonflies

Biologists have grown super-size dragonflies that are 15% larger than normal by raising them in special chambers with oxygen levels matching those that existed on earth 300 million years ago. “No one has been successful growing dragonflies under controlled laboratory conditions before, at least to my knowledge,” said paleobiologist John

Moche burials were exposed to corpse-eating bugs

I knew the phrase "corpse-eating bugs" would get your attention! Apparently the Moche  people would expose their recently deceased to corpse-eating bugs for a week before burial as an act of veneration. Insect remains littered the grave, including the shells of at least 200 blowflies, alongside corpse beetles and other flesh-eating

310-million-year-old cockroach digitally scanned

Scientists have scanned the fossil remains of a 310-million-year-old cockroach, revealing some intimate details about the insect. The fossil is imbedded in hard lumps of iron carbonate. 'The only thing we knew about it was what the creature looked like from above,' Garwood says. Garwood is no stranger to this