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40-Million-Year-Old Wasp Ancestor Discovered in Amber

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Scientists from the Amber Museum in Kaliningrad and the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg discovered the remains of a previously unknown insect.

This is the ancestor of the wasp, which is 40 million years old. This was announced on March 23 by the press service of the museum.

The director of the office, Marina Kuznetsova, said: “In a piece of amber preserved in our museum, a vital artifact was found that has no analogues in the world, and after magnifying it 20 times, it became clear that the amber contains previously unknown insects that are the ancestors of modern hornets, which were frozen in resin. Naturally, it is clear.

Scientists talk about the discovery of new species of Braconidae parasites in Baltic amber. It was named Palaeorhoptrocentrus kanti in honor of the great thinker Immanuel Kant, who was born and lived in Königsberg (now Kaliningrad).

In March of this year, this discovery was reported by the scientific journal Zootaxa, which talks about the evolution and classification of animals. The journal published an article by Sergei Belokobelsky, a researcher at the Institute of Zoology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Andranik Manukyan, a researcher at the Amber Museum, who made a discovery and described in detail a new species of prehistoric insect, and also compared it with extinct and modern arthropods. Consequently, the insect, which can be considered the ancestor of the wasp, also had, in addition to two large true eyes, three eyes of medium size on the forehead, and the mustache, which acts as antennae, was 1.2 times longer than the body of the insect, instead of the stinging device of the modern wasp.

The authors of the article believe that these parasites were attracted by the smell of fresh resin from the amber tree where their victims lived. These parasites lived at that time in the “Amber” forest, and after their disappearance they died out. And later, her distant descendants were found only in the tropics.

According to Marina Kuznetsova, the collection of the Amber Museum has more than 10 reference specimens of various insects aged 40-45 million years, all of them were preserved in pieces of amber, which are of great value for science.

Source: TASS

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