A couple of 99-million-year-old cockroaches are reportedly revealing a new side of the early history of the underworld, as reported by the latest data coming from Fox News.
The roaches have been found preserved in amber in Myanmar, and these are the oldest known examples of “troglomorphic” organisms – in other words, these are creatures that adapted to the dark environments of caves.
Fox News also noted the fact that these are the only such dark-adapted creatures that are known from the Cretaceous period. They lived even while T-Rex was walking the planet along withr dinosaurs.
These days, experts have lots of examples of cockroaches and all kinds of insects that are dwelling in the caves with wings, small eyes, pale bodies, and long arms, but these specimens addressed above are from two distinct related species, and they are the oldest ones that have these traits.
Experts said that “Caves lack unequivocal fossils before the Cenozoic.”
The roaches are exceptionally well preserved
“Cave environments are well suited for fossilization of bones and coprolites [or fossilized feces], and the fossil record of cave mammals includes rodents, ungulates, marsupials, ursids, felids, hyaenids, canids, primates, and humans,” researchers wrote.
Experts also explained that “there is no relevant fossil record of any troglomorphic fauna before K/Pg with the exception of the present find.”
These two amazingly preserved species are probably descendants of a common ancestor from earlier in the Cretaceous. This was from before the continental drift separated their homes on the supercontinent Gondwana.
Fox News also noted that it’s not that clear how these roaches ended up being so amazingly preserved.
Amber fossils are pretty common for small creatures that are living near trees and this is due to the fact that amber is fossilized tree resin basically.
Experts suggested that, in this case, resin might have dripped from tree roots into the roaches’ caves.