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Ants from hell


No, not really. Just from 99 million years ago:

”Hell ants have two features found in no living species: highly specialized scythe-like mandibles and a wide diversity of horns that are present on what is essentially the forehead,” Phillip Barden, a paleontologist at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and lead author of the paper, tells Katie Hunt of CNN.

Paleontologists have long suspected that unique mouthparts of the 16 known species of hell ant hinged shut vertically, rather than horizontally as is the case in all living ant species. But the newly described specimen is the first hard evidence that this is indeed how these early ants sharp jaws functioned, the researchers report this week in the journal Current Biology.

Alex Fox, “Amber Fossil Shows ‘Hell Ant’ Was Unlike Anything Alive Today” at Smithsonian Magazine

Paper. (open access)

This’ll help you sleep. 😉


Amber—a moment in time 100 mya Life forms trapped in amber—hardened resin from conifers—can show remarkable examples of stasis: No real change from one ten-million-year span to the next one.

Millipedes Found In 100 Mya Amber Comprise 13 Of 16 Known Groups

Beetle trapped in amber 99 mya offers window into prehistoric ecology So, in another instance of “earlier than thought,” pollination seems to have preceded flowering plants.

Spider in amber is 49 million-year-old member of living genus

Stasis: Dinosaur-era baby snake looks just like modern ones

“Live action” captured in a spider’s web from 100 million years ago

How did 20-30 myo salamander in amber get IN there?

1st Elite: The herd is settling down. Murder Hornets aren't doing it anymore. 2nd Elite shouting off stage: Release the Hell Ants! Latemarch
Hell Ant swarms a-biting? kairosfocus

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