The marine world is a lot more exciting and full of wonders than most people are aware of. The Cretaceous period dated back 145.5 million – 66 million years ago, but even so, scientists still find creatures that had also been around in that period.
LiveScience.com tells us about a world-premiere in science: researchers found the first “immortal” crab fossilized in amber.
It’s not unusual for insects, millipedes, spiders, and scorpions to get preserved in amber. But when scientists find slightly bigger creatures in such conditions, that’s a real surprise!
Measuring only 2 millimeters across
The fossilized crab in question measures only 2 millimeters across. Despite its size, it was incredibly well preserved. Usually, in such cases, scientists have to reconstruct a creature using pieces of bones and other remnants.
Javier Luque, who is a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University and also a co-author of the study, declared as quoted by LiveScience.com:
It’s the entire animal
…to the level of not missing a single hair on the legs or the mouth, which is mind-blowing.
The physiology of the fossilized creature was studied in great detail using a 3D digital model. To achieve this, the scientists used a type of X-ray scan.
At this point, scientists don’t know how the crab got trapped in the amber.
Burmese miners are responsible for discovering the fossil in Myanmar, and they did it plenty of time ago, in 2015. It’s no surprise here, however, considering that Northern Myanmar has some of the richest mines in the world when it comes to amber fossils.
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