Thursday, September 18, 2008

Living fossil discovered crawling through Amazon rainforest

Scientists believe a new species of ant dates back 120 million years, making it one of the oldest species on earth, reports Reuters. Typically, a species lasts one to ten million years before going extinct.

According to a report at New Scientist, the ant was dubbed Martialis heureka, or “ant from Mars,” since Harvard biologist (an ant expert) E.O. Wilson joked the insect was so bizarre it must have come from Mars.

The creature is blind, pale, spends its life underground and preys on insect larvae and worms. “This combination of characteristics has never been recorded before, so the ant has been put in its own new subfamily.” It’s the first new subfamily of ants since 1923. One expert told Reuters, "It's by far the most spectacular find of my 26-year career."

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.