100 million-year old insect fossils exhibited in China

Beijing, Sep 26 (IANS) An exhibition of a group of rare insect fossils opened on Saturday in China’s Sichuan province.

The one-month exhibition, held by the Insect Museum of China, exhibits fossils of some of the oldest ants, dragonflies, beetles and bees, many of which date to the Jurassic period, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The reason for the scarcity of insect fossil is that their exoskeleton do not preserve very well,” said museum curator Zhao Li.

Some of the fossilised insects look totally different from their modern descendants, Zhao said.

The most precious specimen in the exhibition is an ant fossil, which is believed to be 165 million years old, around 45 million years older than an ant fossil found by American archaeologists in the Amazon rainforest.

“The well-preserved fossil was found in volcano limestone in Ningcheng county, Mongolia region,” Zhao said.

The Insect Museum of China, the biggest insect museum in Asia, boasts more than 400,000 insect samples collected from over 40 countries.

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