Ancient snakefly fossil discovery ‘deepens mystery’ of species’ evolution

The insect was previously believed to have only lived in regions with cold winters, but new evidence turns this theory on its head, writes Harry Cockburn

Wednesday 07 April 2021 18:18
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Modern snakefly (above), and below a fifty-two-million-year-old fossil of a snakefly from Driftwood Canyon in British Columbia
Modern snakefly (above), and below a fifty-two-million-year-old fossil of a snakefly from Driftwood Canyon in British Columbia

The discovery of four previously unknown species of snakefly - a type of long flying insect - has thrown what natural historians know about the evolution of these predatory insects into disarray.

Paleontologists who found the fossils in British Columbia and Washington State, have said their finds have “deepened the mystery”, about the way the species has adapted and moved around the world.

The fossil species are from snakeflies which lived in what we now know as North America, 50 million years ago.

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