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Surprising Science

95-Million-Year-Old Bugs

An amber deposit found in Ethiopia includes the fossilized remains of Cretaceous era ants, spiders, wasps, and bacteria, and is providing new information about how those species lived.

An 95-million-year-old amber deposit found in Ethiopia includes the fossilized remains of ants, spiders, wasps, and bacteria, and is providing new information about how those species lived in the Cretaceous era — the time following the age of dinosaurs, when mammals were first beginning to develop. These are some of the oldest African fossil records for these species, and while the discoveries represented insects will take many years to interpret, the existence of ants in the amber already indicates a different idea of their origin than had been assumed.


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