A new order of insects has been discovered in South America from the Lower Cretaceous period.
German scientists in Stuttgart have been studying the fossilized insects which have been named Coxoplectoptera.
"The fossils are about 120 million years old, from the Lower Cretaceous age (thus contemporaries of dinosaurs and pterosaurs)," Günter Bechly, a paleontologist at the State Museum of Natural History told The Epoch Times via email.
Both the larval and adult stages of the insect were found.
They are believed to be a type of mayfly that is now extinct, but their appearance is perplexing as the adult wing shape is more like that of a dragonfly while the legs resemble those of a praying mantis.Meanwhile, the larva looks like a freshwater shrimp with large antennae and multiple legs, and probably lived as ambush predators in river beds, partly buried in the mud
"The larva of Coxoplectoptera was aquatic but differs in habits from all other known aquatic insect larvae, which suggests a very peculiar way of life unknown today," Bechly added.
The team’s findings are published in the journal Insect Systematics & Evolution in a special issue about Cretaceous insects.
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