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Friday, July 25, 2008

Unknown insects found in 110-million-year-old amber in Spain

This undated photo shows an insect enclosed in an amber discovered by scientists of the Universities of Jena and Rostock in 2005. The remains of several unknown insect species which became extinct long before dinosaurs stopped roaming the earth have been discovered in pieces of 110-million-year-old amber found in Spain, researchers said Thursday.(AFP/HO/File/Hans Pohl)
AFP/HO/File Photo: This undated photo shows an insect enclosed in an amber discovered by scientists of the...

MADRID (AFP) - The remains of several unknown insect species which became extinct long before dinosaurs stopped roaming the earth have been discovered in pieces of 110-million-year-old amber found in Spain, researchers said Thursday.

Palaeontologist Enrique Penalver said the amber discovered in the El Soplao cave in the northern province of Cantabria was in "exceptional" condition.

"The conservation is incredible. You can study the details," he told a news conference in Santander according to the Europea Press agency.

Several types of arachnids, as well spider webs and plant remains, were found fossilised in the amber discovered at the site, added Penalver, a researcher with the science ministry's Geology and Mine Institute.

It is the most important amber find to date in Spain and possibly in all of Europe, he added. There are few other amber finds from that era in the world, he said.

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