Researchers Start Scouring Amber Collection

The Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) shared that a massive amber collection was found over five decades ago. The collection weighing 160 pound is said to date back between 18 and 20 million years.

As per the INHS, it will take many more years before complete assessment of the collection is finished. Experts are expecting the collection to be turn out as the largest Dominican amber collection across the globe.

Researchers have started evaluating the massive collection of ancient amber. And, already they have started finding some really interesting fossils including the discovery of a 20 million years old fossil of locust.

The pygmy locust is a very small grasshopper and has been officially named as Electrotettix attenboroughi. The name has been given after Sir David Attenborough, who is a known naturalist and filmmaker. He was very happy after he got to know about this honor.

Paleontologist Sam Heads discovered the locust sample. Heads shared that he is a big fan of Attenborough. "Sir David has a personal interest in amber, and also he was one of my childhood heroes... so I decided to name the species in his honor", stated Heads.

Researchers consider that the finding may help in filling a gap in the fossil ground. They are expecting many more such discoveries while they carry on with the work on the amber collection. Heads said the grasshopper specimen is important as it is very rare to find it in amber.

Fossils can reveal important information about how the insects evolved certain traits and behaviours. Researchers think that the fossil insects broaden the understanding level of the ancient world, ancient climate and ancient ecosystems.