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"Stunning 99-Million-Year-Old Fossil Reveals “Hell Ants”" Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP19 Aug 2020 9:16 p.m. PST

… in Detail: Hunted With Bizarre, Deadly Mandibles

"In findings published on August 6, 2020, in the journal Current Biology, researchers from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Chinese Academy of Sciences and University of Rennes in France have unveiled a stunning 99-million-year-old fossil pristinely preserving an enigmatic insect predator from the Cretaceous Period — a ‘hell ant' (haidomyrmecine) — as it embraced its unsuspecting final victim, an extinct relative of the cockroach known as Caputoraptor elegans.

The ancient encounter, locked in amber recovered from Myanmar, offers a detailed glimpse at a newly identified prehistoric ant species Ceratomyrmex ellenbergeri, and presents some of the first direct evidence showing how it and other hell ants once used their killer features — snapping their bizarre, but deadly, scythe-like mandibles in a vertical motion to pin prey against their horn-like appendages…"

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