New Insect Species Is Found Fossilized In Amber
If you have ever been to India, then you know that India is a country that is rich in its diversity of insect life. Researchers have long assumed that India’s fauna was unique to the country, and that no ancient European bugs could ever be unearthed in India because India was, for a long time, not a part of any continent. However, researchers have recently corrected these long held assumptions after finding two fossilized bugs in India, and these bugs appear to have an ancestral link to modern European bugs.
Millions of years ago India was part of a supercontinent known as Gondwana. Around one hundred and thirty million years ago, India broke off from this supercontinent and started to drift north. India eventually collided with Asia around fifty nine million years ago. The newly discovered fossilized species of fungus-gnat was likely active around fifty four million years ago in India. That means that this European-looking fungus-gnat was alive in India around the same time that India collided with Asia.
This gnat says a lot about India’s ecological history since this is the first fossilized insect found in India that looks more like a European species as opposed to a traditionally Indian species. The finding suggests a faunal exchange between Europe and India far before experts thought that any sort of faunal exchange existed between these two regions.
The traditional theory states that India, when it was drifting in the sea millions of years ago, eventually formed its own unique environmental conditions. So finding out which types of bugs inhabited India millions of years ago has always been straightforward, but the discovery of these fossilized gnats makes answering that question much more difficult. There are still many fossilized insects that appear to be related to European insects, but are instead found within the country of India.
What is the most bug-populated region that you have visited?