Scientists have accidentally found the oldest ever butterfly or moth fossils

Credit: Wikimedia CommonsButterflies and moths appear to be very delicate creatures, and yet they turn out to be much tougher both in terms of their anatomy and survival skills than previously imagined. About 70 sturdy scales from their wings were just identified in a drilled core from northern Germany that dates to 200 million years ago. The ancestors of today's moths and butterflies therefore date to at least the latter part of the Late Triassic (251199 million years ago). The findings, published in the journal Science Advances, extend the origin of these insects by 5 million years, since the previous related fossil record-holders from the United Kingdom date to 195 million years ago. There is little doubt that dinosaurs and other iconic animals from the time saw the insects fluttering around them, just as many of us do today. "There is definitely evidence for dinosaurs roaming around the area from outcrops further north in Sweden, which can be considered part of the same region

Scientists have accidentally found the oldest ever butterfly or moth fossils

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Mon 15 Jan 18 from Phys.org

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Mon 15 Jan 18 from ScienceNews

Meet the butterflies from 200 million years ago

Newly discovered fossils in Germany shed light on the emergence of butterflies and moths.

Wed 10 Jan 18 from BBC News

Butterflies and Moths May Have Predated Flowers

Wed 10 Jan 18 from Discover Magazine

In 'pond scum,' scientists find answers to one evolution's which-came-first cases

Visiting a colleague in Germany in 2012, Boston College Research Professor Paul K. Strother was examining soil samples for pollen, spores, pieces of plants and insect legs - organic debris that ...

Wed 10 Jan 18 from Phys.org

World's oldest butterfly and moth fossils discovered in 200-million-year-old 'pond scum'

Scientists discovered the oldest known fossils of moths and butterflies while sifting through 200-million-year-old "pond scum."        

Thu 11 Jan 18 from USA today

Fossils show butterflies appeared on Earth before flowers

Scales from the wings of 7 species of 'Lepidoptera' - the group that includes moths and butterflies - were found in a sample of ancient rock in Germany by researchers from the University of ...

Thu 11 Jan 18 from Daily Mail

Rare, delicate fossils show butterflies emerged before flowers did

If there's one thing this study shows, it's that butterflies are survivors.

Thu 11 Jan 18 from ZME Science

The Oldest Butterflies on Earth Had No Flowers to Feed On

Butterflies and moths are so ancient, they lived before the existence of flowers, a new study finds.

Wed 10 Jan 18 from Livescience

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