August 30, 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) - Scientists have found a few ancient insects frozen in what is Earth's oldest bug trap.
Two microscopic mites and much of one fly were discovered preserved in tree resin. At 230 million years old, they are about 100 million years older than the previous record for bugs trapped in amber.
While older insects have been found in rock fossils, researcher David Grimaldi of New York's American Museum of Natural History says these are better preserved.
Scientists found them stuck among 70,000 droplets of amber unearthed in northeastern Italy. The mites are too small to be seen with the naked eye and the fly is a tad tinier than a fruit fly.
The discovery was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.