Check out this amazingly well-preserved fossil of a 100 million year-old fly

Here is probably the most pristinely preserved prehistoric insect you’ve ever seen.

Even better, the specimen is preserved in a three-dimensional setting, hovering in a chunk of amber. The amber fossil is of an Assassin Fly, which is an insect that lived over 100 million years ago during the Cretaceous period.

assassin fly

From Smithsonian Science:

“The transparency of these amber fossils gives researchers a new window into the ecology of the Cretaceous period, and sheds light on the evolutionary history of a family of flies that has withstood the test of time for millions of years,” said Dikow, a research scientist in the Department of Entomology. “The fossils of these ancient flies are so well preserved that you can almost imagine them flying around in our world today.”

The translucent amber fossils preserved the imprint of the new species—rather than the tissues themselves—and provided researchers with their first three-dimensional look at a fossilized assassin fly. Dikow identified the new species after studying the morphology of a male and female specimen using a microscope. Distinct features that are not found in modern species of assassin flies include long, flattened antennae, a unique v-shaped eye structure and spiny hind legs.

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