Ancient, scary specimen placed in a new scientific order
A recently discovered well-preserved 100-million-year-old insect is so different from already identified more than one million insects that a new scientific order has been created to describe it.
The alien-looking specimen was discovered by a team of researchers from Oregon State University in semi-precious stone amber. It has a triangular head, almost-alien appearance along with so unusual features that scientists have called its discovery as "incredibly rare" event.
The researchers reported that the tiny, but scary looking wingless female insect probably lived in fissures in trees' bark, looking for worms, mites or fungi to feed on while huge dinosaurs lumbered in close proximity.
George Poinar, Jr., a professor of entomology in the OSU's College of Science, said he had never really seen anything like it, and thus could not place in any of the 31 existing orders. Hence, a new order was created for it.
Speaking on the topic, Poinar added, "This insect has a number of features that just don't match those of any other insect species that I know. I had never really seen anything like it. It appears to be unique in the insect world, and after considerable discussion we decided it had to take its place in a new order."
The tiny, alien-looking specimen was described in the most recent edition of the journal Cretaceous Research.