Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Preserved in Amber: An Ant With Metal Horn

Myanmar has a rich deposit of amber, preserving bodies of insects, birds even dinosaurs that lived and roamed the earth 100 million years ago. Recently an amber has been unearthed which preserves an ant in totality. Upon CT-scan it is revealed to have had a metal horn. Discovered by team of Phillip Barden and D. A. Grimaldi, the amber is dated to be 98 million year old, from the Cretaceous Period.

The ant had vampire-like characteristics, the horn had an inner funnel which might have been used to suck blood. Probably the ant fed on other insects and could have defended itself from little larger animals too. Vincent Perrichot earlier in 2016 had published an article on what he dubbed "The Unicorn Ant" having a single horn, he described the horn can be metal made up of Zinc or Iron.

The amber is still under study and more information will surface about the ant. For more info read the news here on NewScientist.