Scientists Discovered Dinosaur-Age Cockroaches
Sat, April 17, 2021

Scientists Discovered Dinosaur-Age Cockroaches

 

Previous studies show that cave-dwelling cockroaches existed during the Cenozoic era, which began about 65 million years ago. Researchers have been trying to find evidence that the species might date back to the dinosaur age; now they've finally found it.

 

Photo Credits: ABC Net

 

For decades, researchers have been focused on finding evidence in cave environments because they are well-suited for the fossilization of bones and coprolites. This has been proven as they discovered fossil records of cave mammals such as rodents ungulates, marsupials, ursids, felids, hyaenids, canids, primates, and even humans. However, they found no relevant fossil record of any troglomorphic organisms, creatures that adapted to dark environments of caves, except this pair of  99-million-year ago cockroaches.

 

Photo Credits: Cosmos Magazine

 

According to Cosmos Magazine, a quarterly science magazine that aims to make the world of science accessible to everyone, the cockroaches were originally discovered in amber deposits from a mine located in Hukawng Valley, Myanmar. "It was clear from the first look that these were fantastic, but a lot of time is needed to determine exactly what you see. It is a time abyss. You must imagine that these are in dino caves, with pterosaurs in the air, and nearly no flowers. It is another world,” lead investigator Peter Vršanský said. 

 

Photo Credits: Cosmos Magazine

 

According to Live Science, a science news website that features groundbreaking developments in science, space, technology, health, the environment, our culture and history, these cockroaches are the oldest animals ever found with traits the same as other cave-dwelling insects such as small eyes and wings, pale bodies, and long arms and antennae. A recent study published in the journal Gondwana Research revealed that the cockroaches were well-preserved. They are likely descendants of a common ancestor from earlier in the Cretaceous.

However, the researchers are not sure how the cockroaches ended up so well-preserved. The team suggested that the ancient resin dripped from tree roots into the cockroaches' caves and hardened around the paleo-arthropods.
 

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