A tiny beetle that was first trapped in amber 99 million years ago has been discovered by scientists. The diminutive specimen is only half the length of a grain of rice and was unearthed in Myanmar. Named Propiestus archaicus, the animal is a distant relative of the Rove beetle that exists today in South America and the southern part of Arizona. Scientists claim that the huge geographical difference between the two locations provides clues to explain how the Earth's continents moved over time following the disintegration of the supercontinent Pangaea. Named Propiestus archaicus, the tiny beetle (pictured) measures only 0.1 inches long and it relied on its antennae, flattened body and short legs to navigate through foliage and underneath rotten trees'This is a very rare find,' said Shuhei Yamamoto, a Field Museum researcher and lead author of the paper, published in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.
The preserved remains of a 99-million-year-old beetle that crawled alongside T-Rex have been found encased in amber. The beetle is believed to be the world's earliest insect pollinator and its body was coated with pollen grains when it became encased in the clear tree resin. It would have been crawling over plants for nourishment when it was frozen in time during the Cretaceous period. The amber has preserved it in astonishing detail and even especially adapted cavities in its jaws are visible. Amazingly preserved remains of a 99-million-year-old beetle that crawled alongside T-Rex has been found in amber (pictured).
Beetles that lived up to 45 million years ago have been found preserved in amber - with orchid pollen still in their mouths. The discovery shows the creepy-crawlies were once vital pollinators of Earth - just like bees and butterflies today. Some present-day beetles use orchids for nectar but no fossil evidence has ever been found showing them doing so in the evolutionary past - until now. Researchers discovered beetles fossilised in amber, with orchid pollen in their mouthparts (indicated by arrow), suggesting they have been pollinating for longer than ever imagined. While it was previously known that some beetles use orchids for nectar, this is the first fossil evidence to show beetles in the past pollinating orchids.
The earliest-known example of a pollinating insect has been found preserved in amber dating back to around 99 million years ago, researchers report. The fossilised tumbling flower beetle was found with pollen still stuck to its legs preserved in amber from deep inside a mine in northern Myanmar's Hukawng Valley. The find pushes back the earliest-documented instance of insect pollination to around 50 million years earlier than previously thought. The preserved insect is a newly discovered species of beetle which researchers have named Angimordella burmitina. The find pushes back the earliest-documented instance of insect pollination to around 50 million years earlier than previously thought.