Triassic Mites Join World’s Oldest Animals
230 Million Year Old Mites
The two mites in this image are 230 million years old and were found alongside gnats and mosquitoes. Around 70,000 drops of amber in northeastern Italy were found and inside were these two beauties. They smash the world record for oldest animals found in amber by over 100 million years.
This snail is the oldest snail that has ever been found; having lived around 125 million years ago in what is now Lebanon - an area rich in amber finds.
This insect was one of six ambered species found in northern Spain is is around 110 million years old. Caught in the hairs of the insect you can see pollen grains; this is thought to be the oldest found example of insect pollination.
Making Love For All Eternity?
This pair of mating midges were ambered while in the process of mating and now have been at it for 125 million years.
The Oldest Gecko Thus Far
Found in Maynmar this gecko is 40 million years older than the oldest previously found specimen which places it at least 97 million years old. This specimen is also the oldest specimen to have lamellae (sticky hairs) on its feet in order to more easily climb smooth surfaces.
This parasite of the genus Stylops lives inside the guts of other insects before consuming it from the inside out and emerging fully grown. This is thought to have happened a few hours before the specimen died.
This minute feather is around 100 million years old and could possibly have belonged to a dinosaur or a bird, but it’s not expected that whoever owned it did much flying. It is expected that it was part of an insulating layer, rather than as part of a wing.
Vampire Bat Fly
Found in the Dominican Republic this is the only fossil ever of a bat fly. It is around 20 or 30 million years old and would have fed on bats’ blood when it was alive. They do not usually leave their host for anything other than mating, which is when scientists expect it got trapped in amber.