49 million-year-old beetle looks like it was squashed yesterday


A beetle that lived about 49 million years ago is so well-preserved that the insect looks like it could spread its strikingly patterned wing coverings and fly away. That is, if it weren’t squashed and fossilized. 

Wing cases, or elytra, are one of the sturdiest parts of a beetle’s exoskeleton, but even so, this level of color contrast and clarity in a fossil is exceptionally rare, scientists recently reported. 


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