New Beetle Species :

With the discovery of a 20-million-year-old fossilized tree, a Dinosaur with a nest full of eggs, New Human Species, and many more, 2021 has been an exciting year for paleontologists and archaeologists.

But that’s not the end. Researchers now have discovered a new Beetle species of pre-historic times. It was excavated in the village of Krasiejow, Poland. And what makes it an extraordinary discovery is that it was found in the fossilized dino-dung also known as coprolites.

Based on carbon dating, the researchers estimated that this new Beetle species lived 230 million years ago. This unexpected discovery of an insect was published in the journal Current Biology.

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The researchers were astonished when they found the well-preserved body of this new Beetle species in the fossilized poop of Silesaurus opolensis, a narrow-snouted 2.3 meters (7.5 feet) long reptile that lived during the Late Triassic era. The recent study revealed that it could be omnivorous, munching on plants and insects like this new Beetle species and others that were unfortunate enough to cross its path.

This unexpected discovery of the new Beetles species in coprolites stresses how important it is to study coprolites.

New Beetle SpeciesImage credit: Martin Qvarnström

“We didn’t know how insects looked in the Triassic period and now we have the chance. Maybe when many more coprolites are analyzed, we will find that some groups of reptiles produced coprolites that are not really useful, while others have coprolites full of nicely preserved insects that we can study,” said entomologist ‪Martin Fikáček at National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan.

The study team used Synchrotron microtomography technology at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France to scan and get a 3D picture of this new Beetle species.

The team was surprised to find its legs and antenna still perfectly intact. The researchers named this new Beetle species “Triamyxa coprolithica,” referring to its lost Triassic era, discovery in coprolite, and Beetle suborder.

The team stated that the new beetle species survived in humid or semiaquatic environments.

“Triamyxa likely shared its habitat with larger beetles, which are represented by disarticulated remains in the Coprolites, and other prey,” said paleontologist ‪Martin Qvarnström from Uppsala University, Sweden.

The study of coprolites with the latest technology could reveal a lot about the species, its diet, gut bacteria, and the environment it lived.

All thanks to the hard work of scientists all these years, we can get an idea about how prehistoric times were.


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