A team of archeologists has made an important discovery in the form of ancient cockroaches that were caught in amber. Initial tests infer that the cockroaches, which were found in Myanmar, are de oldest species of known troglomorphic creatures.
A troglomorphic creature is specially adapted to the hazardous and dark environment that can be found within caves and other poorly-illuminated areas. This trait makes them the only creatures from the Cretaceous period, which carry such adaptations.
In modern times biologists have found a rich selection of insects that live in caves and sport a rich array of interesting features. Most of them tend to have petite bodies, pale wings, and antennae.
Previous research has shown that caves lack any form of conclusive fossils before the Cenozoic era. This period is quite significant since it takes place after the mass extinction event that contributed to the disappearance of dinosaurs and the advancement of mammals as important species.
Ancient cockroaches fossils trapped in amber was found
Many of the cave fossils that have been found after the extinction tend to be tied to the animals that spend a limited amount of time in caves, using them as shelter in most cases. It is well-known that caves are great for the fossilization of bones and feces. Among the remnants found in caves, we can count fossils and fragments from many rodent species, marsupials, bears, canids, primates, and monkeys.
It was known that ancient cockroaches species that favored caves were living during the the Cenozoic era, but some suspected that they could be traced back to the dinosaur age, yet there was no definite evidence. The new species that have been discovered may be the descendants of an older species of cockroaches that may have lived during the days when the supercontinent Gondwana was still intact.
The researchers were impressed by the pristine state of the fossils, and it is believed that tree resin may have found its way inside the cave. A paper was published in a scientific journal.