Flies having sex preserved in fossil dating back millions of years

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A 41 million-year-old tryst – by Jeffrey Stilwell

There are couples who boldly proclaim themselves worthy of an immortal name because of their good adultery to be knocked down by only two long-legged flies marinating in amber.

A new study published in Nature on Thursday suggests that the fly is the oldest surviving fossil in Australian amber. It may also be a candidate for the first mating of snow and ice described in Australia’s fossil record.

A study conducted by a team from the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at Monash University in Melbourne showed that evil flies are not the only ones. The researchers also found an ant fossil known as the oldest fossil south of Gondwana, Australia’s first wingless hexapod fossil, a group of spider fossils known as ‘thin spring herbs’, two livers, two mosses and a maple fossil with bite marks.

“Amber is considered the ‘sacred grail’ of discipline because the body is preserved in perfect three-dimensional space in a lively limbo that looks as if it died yesterday,” said Jeffrey Stilwell, a paleontologist at Monash University and lead author of the study, in a press release. But they are actually millions of years old, and they give us a lot of information about ancient Earth’s ecosystems.

A team of scientists from Australia, Spain, Italy, and the UK has studied fragments of amber found in the Macquarie Harbor formation in Tasmania and Anglesey in Victoria and found that they are over 50 million and 40 million years old, respectively.

“This study improves our understanding of prehistoric southern ecosystems in Australia and New Zealand from the Late Triassic to the Middle Paleozoic (230 to 40 million years ago),” Stilwell said.

Of course, sometimes I can’t help laughing at how this long-legged fly got trapped on its long legs, but for me, it’s a big step forward in terms of what prehistoric Australian animals can mean now and guess what it can mean.

“This discovery takes a fresh look at the origin, antiquity, and evolution of modern Australian biota and suggests that similar discoveries may be made in Australia and New Zealand in the future. Stillwell said.

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