Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Oldest-ever insect imprint found

A very clear imprint of a dragonfly-like insect, found on a rocky outcrop by a Tufts University geology student in Massachusetts, has been dated to approxmately 312 million years. It may be the oldest such imprint knwon to science.
Discoverer Richard Knecht explains, "It's not a dragonfly but picture a dragonfly-like body. We're looking at something related, maybe a mayfly. They have the same body plan." Tufts paleontologist Jake Brenner adds, "It's unusual to see a flying insect make such a deep impression in this muddy sediment. We don't have many good body fossils from this time period with these early flying insects. The level of detail is really unseen in continental deposits."

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