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Dragonfly fossil
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200 million-year-old dragonfly fossil found in China

Chinese researchers have been studying a 200 million-year-old dragonfly fossil.
The dragonfly fossil, which lived in the Late Triassic period, was discovered in Junggar Basin in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in 2013, scientists with the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeonotology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences said on Thursday.
A single wing of the insect is about 101 millimeters long, making it the second largest dragonfly fossil ever found in China. The largest had a wing length of 107.6 millimeters.

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Mayfly in amber
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About 100 million years ago, a tiny mayfly had a problem.
Like most adult mayflies, she only had that one day to live anyway, so there was no time to waste. She took her mating flight, got fertilized, and was about to lay her eggs when something went horribly wrong. She got stuck in some oozing tree sap and died, preserved for all time in the magic of amber. There would be ho hatchlings.
It was a pretty rude ending to what was already going to be a short adulthood. But her personal tragedy proved fortunate for scientists. The tiny specimen - just described by an Oregon State University researcher as a new subfamily, genus and species of mayfly - has helped to shed further light on the ecology of the distant past. And at least she didnt get eaten by a fish.

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Flying insect
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Fruit flies 'swim' through air, using the same physics as fish, study shows

Like a fish paddles its pectoral fins to swim through water, flying insects use the same physics laws to "paddle" through the air, say Cornell physicists.
Using high-speed videography and a precision algorithm for 3-D motion tracking, Cornell researchers have demonstrated that swimmers and flyers share similar force generation methods to propel themselves through water or air. This finding goes against conventional theories that the "paddling" motion common to swimmers, which use drag forces to propel forward, only occurs in water.

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RE: Oldest Fossil flying insect
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About 315 million years ago, an insect landed on a muddy patch, sat for a while and flew off.
Amazingly, that bugs muddy impression, about 1.5 inches long, hardened and survived to today.
Fragments of flying insects - usually just the wings - have been found dating to 325 million years ago. The Massachusetts fossil provides the earliest and perhaps best look at the body of an early flying insect.

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US researchers say they have discovered what appears to be the oldest imprint of a prehistoric insect, made while the dragonfly-like creature was still alive.
The imprint found at a rocky outcrop near a large shopping centre in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, is believed to have been made by an insect about 7.6cm long as it stood on mud some 312 million years ago.

 
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Tufts University researchers have uncovered what they believe is the oldest fossil of a flying insect in a rock outcropping behind a strip mall.
The 300 million-year-old specimen is a detailed, full-body impression made when the winged insect apparently landed in mud in what is now North Attleborough.


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Scientists have uncovered what they are calling the oldest full-body impression of a flying insect, possibly an ancient mayfly.

"(The fossil) captures a moment in time over 300 million years ago when a flying insect just happened to land on a damp, muddy surface leaving almost a perfect impression of its body behind" - researcher Jake Benner, a palaeontologist at Tufts University in Massachusetts.

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Tufts University student and a faculty lecturer uncover what they believe is the world's oldest known full-body impression of a primitive flying insect, a 300 million-year-old specimen from the Carboniferous Period. Surprise discovery made in a most unlikely place - behind a suburban strip mall.
 While palaeontologists may scour remote, exotic places in search of prehistoric specimens, Tufts researchers have found what they believe to be the world's oldest whole-body fossil impression of a flying insect in a wooded field behind a strip mall in North Attleboro, Mass.
During a recent exploration as part of his senior project, Richard J. Knecht, a Tufts geology major, and Jake Benner, a palaeontologist and senior lecturer in the Geology Department, set out to hunt for fossils at a location they learned of while reading a master's thesis that had been written in 1929. With chisels and hammers, the team reached the shale and sandstone outcropping described in the paper. There they delicately picked away pieces of rock before reaching a section that yielded fossils. Just below the surface, they uncovered a fossilised impression of a flying insect.

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