Peru researchers make rare ancient insect find
Sunday 14 August 2011
Researchers in Peru said Tuesday they have discovered the remains of ancient insects and sunflower seeds trapped inside amber dating from the Miocene epoch, some 23 million years ago.
The rare find was made in the remote mountainous jungle region near Peru's northern border with Ecuador, paleontologist Klaus Honninger told AFP.
"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 discovered "hundreds of pieces of amber up to 12 centimeters (five inches) large containing several types of insects," Honninger said.
The insects trapped in the amber - fossilized tree resin - are extremely well preserved and include ancient beetles, barklice, flies and spiders.
Honninger, director of the Chiclayo-based Meyer-Honninger Paleontology Museum, said that the experts discovered "an unknown species of arachnid" with a head like a dog and legs four times longer than the body.
The discovery was made in April in the Santiago River area of northern Peru.
Extreme climate change from the Miocene epoch (23 to five million years ago) was likely the reason the insects became extinct, Honninger said.
The same team of researchers announced in January it had discovered a fossilized squid from the Cretaceous era (145 to 65 million years ago) some 3,700 meters (12,100 feet) above sea level in the Maranon River Valley, also in far northern Peru.
SeaWorld in US tries to reverse falling audiences after film showing effects of captivity
Chinese ivory trade blamed as poachers drive down elephant population by 2% a year
Twitch and shout: Birdwatchers are raving over rare birds in Britain
Investigation launched after manatee drowns at Paris zoo
Melting glaciers are caused by man-made global warming, study shows
- 1 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns aged 27
- 3 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
- 4 Nicki Minaj finally releases predictable 'Anaconda' video
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
£45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, ...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Per...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...