Sunday, 28 August 2011

Ancient Insects

I have always been intrigued by the idea of insects trapped in amber many millions of years ago but had never actually seen any until recently. I now have a couple of small pieces, one containing a tiny midge and the other a slightly larger Caddis Fly. Both have been checked for authenticity and have been confirmed to date from the Eocene period, approximately 50 million years ago. I don't know whether it's just me, but the idea that I can see an insect that was flying around 50 million years ago almost blows my mind.

Here are a few images. The midge is tiny, approximately 2-3mm in length so is heavily magnified.

PLEASE CLICK ON ALL IMAGES TO VIEW LARGER VERSIONS

 In this image of the midge you can actually see its compound eye;



 and in this one, you can see the feathery antennae, just like you see on midges today;



Here's the Caddis Fly;



Finally, a close-up of a 50 million year old Caddis Fly wing!


3 comments:

  1. Do they still exist until today? The Caddis fly? It's amazing to know that their bodies have been preserved in those ambers for 50 million years! That dates back to a time when even humans didn't exist. Wow! =)

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  2. thanks for your comment. It is amazing looking at a 50 million year old isn't it? Yes, we still have Caddis Flies today, here's an example;

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/25171701@N08/3534784295/

    best wishes

    Matt

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