Discovered a new species of centipedes 99 million years old - why is this a great discovery?

Thanks to amber, inside of which formillions of years kept ancient insects, scientists still make important discoveries for science. Recently, researchers from the Bulgarian National Museum of Natural History were able to study a fragment of fossil resin, in which a centipede from the order Callipodida remains. It turned out to be the oldest representative of its squad and had a complex eye structure, so the researchers had to open a new branch of the millipede species and make the found individual its leader.

A piece of amber with a previously unexplored arthropodwas provided by a scholarly private collector. The find was carefully studied with a microscope and a computer tomograph - the blessing, the ancient resin retained even the smallest particles of the millipede. Ultimately, the researchers managed to create a three-dimensional image of an ancient creature, although its size is only 8.2 millimeters.

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The centipede got a rather long name.Burmanopetalum expectatum, which can be literally translated as "unexpected." According to Professor Pavel Stoev, it really came as a surprise to them that the new species cannot be attributed to any of the currently existing branches of the centipedes-diplopods. The fact is that his visual apparatus has only five ommatidia, while in other species there are at least thirty of them. A new branch called Burmanopetalidea.

Interestingly, the centipedes are their diplopod classhave two pairs of legs on each segment of the body. This greatly distinguishes them from lip-legged ones, which on each segment of their body have only one pair of limbs and are mostly predators that hold the victims of the first pair of maxillary jaws.

The ancient resin contains many interesting creatures that lived millions of years ago. At the same time, they are perfectly preserved - for example, the recently found spider even retained its ability to shine with eyes.

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