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230-million years-old insects found in Italy

posted 29 Aug 2012, 15:51 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 29 Aug 2012, 15:52 ]

Scientists discover what they believe to be the oldest insects in the world. Kilmeny Duchardt reports.

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL HANDOUT - Drops of prehistoric amber contain what scientists believe to be the oldest insects in the world - 230-million years-old.

Two mites and the greater part of a fly were preserved inside millimeter-size drops of amber lying within Italy's Dolomite mountains.

They look like modern day mites, but aren't visible to the human eye.

The German Gottingen University and the Museum of Natural History in New York collaborated to study the specimens and have classified them as two new species.