A 230-million-year-old mite preserved in amber
An insect trapped in amber, perfectly preserved for millions of years: the image is familiar to fans of Jurassic Park, but in fact, few insects got stuck in sticky tree resin until about 130 million years ago—long after the Jurassic period ended. That’s when trees first began to produce enough of it to ensnare flies and mites.
Or so paleontologists believed. Three newly discovered bugs in amber may force a revision of that timeline. As a new study reports in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, these specimens are 230 million years old.