Discovery of a 100 million year old 'hell' ant in transparent amber

Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Discovery of a 100 million year old 'hell' ant in transparent amber

Discovery of a 100 million year old 'hell' ant in transparent amber

  • BEIJING: Scientists have unearthed a fossil of a bloodthirsty "hell ant" in a fragment of transparent amber found in Burma, about 100 million years old. Not only that, but this ant also has an insect like a red bag in its jaws.
  • It should be noted that amber is the transparent resin of a tree or plant which solidifies and solidifies after expulsion. If the conditions are favorable, this transparent resin can be preserved in this solid state for millions of years, and if any small animal or insect is trapped in it during the flow of the resin, it is also preserved inside it.
  • Such fossils are called "amber fossils" (amber fossils) which, in addition to their color and transparency, are of special importance because of the small animals and insects that are preserved inside them in perfect condition, while being rare. Because they are also expensive.

  • On the other hand, a type of dangerous predatory ant that became extinct millions of years ago is known as the "Hell Ant". So far many species have been discovered, the most recently discovered being Ceratomyrmex ellenbergeri. This is the same ant that was trapped in the resin of a tree while hunting 99 million (about 100 million) years ago today and later turned into amber.
  • However, it is important not only that an ant can be clearly seen preying on insects, but also that the different parts of the mouth of this 'hell ant' are very different from today's ants. This can be of great help in understanding and understanding the evolution of ants.
  • The hellish ant has an oblong protrusion on its face that helps it hold the prey. In addition, it is the first specimen of an ancient ant that proves that millions of years ago, ants could move their jaws up and down and use their mouths to hold prey.

  • The jaws of hellish ants could move up and down, while the jaws of modern ants could only move left and right.
  • Insects are considered hardy and can survive even in the most adverse conditions. But it is still a mystery to experts that 65 million years ago today, when the dinosaurs suddenly became extinct, many species of ants disappeared from the face of the earth, and only a few species evolved into modern ants. ۔
  • Details of this joint study by Chinese, American and French experts have been published in the latest issue of the online research journal "Current Biology".


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