A very ancient fossil of a cockroach has been discovered in Myanmar. It is extracted from the rich amber deposit of the country. This piece of fossilized amber is one of the most well-preserved fossils that were ever found. It has the cockroach trapped in the amber along with its own feces. This gives a very rare opportunity for the scientists to study the creature along with its food habit and the surrounding environment when it walked the earth long ago.

How old is this ancient fossil of a cockroach?


One of the ancient cockroaches is pictured preserved in its amber grave.
Image: © J. Hinkelman, L. Vrsanska, The Science of Nature – Naturwissenschaften 10.1007 (2020)


With the help of the latest Carbon Dating technology, this ancient fossil is estimated to be around 99 million years old. Although, it isn’t the oldest fossil of a cockroach.

According to a report from Entomology Today, Valditermes brennae and Cretaholocompsa montsecana are the oldest fossils of cockroaches dating back from 125-140 million years old (These specimens lived around the end of the Jurassic era and the dawn of the Cretaceous periods).

According to the research report published in The Science of NatureNaturwissenschaften, the researchers examined the feces of the cockroach from this ancient fossil and were astonished to find well-preserved pollen grains of the Jurassic era.

The pollen grains were of the Cycad, it might be the tree that produced the sap that might have killed this ancestor of today’s cockroaches. These findings from this ancient fossil intensify the claim that these creatures were some of the most important pollinators of the ancient period.


Also read: Oldest Chess Piece Discovered in Jordan


The scientists’ curiosity to find out more has led to another discovery. They found the presence of the bacteria and protozoa in the feces just like the bacterias present in today’s cockroaches and termite gut which indicates that the symbiotic relationship between the micro-organisms and insects goes back more than 100 million years.

This ancient fossil of a cockroach has answered some of the practically-unanswered questions and there is still a lot to reveal. Every fossil has a story and secrets held within, the history of our planet, origin of life, bio-diversity, food-chain, and many more unexplored secrets of our world.

Fossils are a great source to know all these or maybe even more. The study of this ancient fossil of a cockroach has boosted scientists to study the fossilized amber deposits more in-depth.


Chetan Raj

I'm a writer, entrepreneur, and traveler obsessed with technology, travel, science, and the world we are living in. I realized the value of 'true knowledge' for the 1st time in my graduation which is one of the many reasons to create this magnificent platform...

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